President Donald Trump will sign executive orders starting Wednesday restricting refugees, visas and immigration, making good on his signature campaign pledges, US media reported.
Trump is due to speak Wednesday to employees at the Department of Homeland Security — which handles immigration — and sign orders there on refugees and national security, according to The Washington Post and CNN.
“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!” Trump tweeted late Tuesday.
Trump launched his presidential campaign with a promise to build a wall along America’s long — and porous — southern border with Mexico, coupled with a tough immigration stance.
He also called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until authorities can better screen those who come into the country.
What remains unclear is how the orders would be implemented by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who told his confirmation hearing that the border wall might not “be built anytime soon.”
On Thursday, Trump is expected to sign executive orders on immigration and on so-called sanctuary cities, where local officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities on such things as handing over illegal immigrants for deportation.
The orders would restrict immigration and access to the United States for refugees and visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, according to the Post, which noted that citizens from many of these countries already face big obstacles in obtaining US visas.
Immigration experts told the newspaper that the orders would stop all admissions of refugees for 120 days, including those seeking shelter from Syria’s brutal civil war, and a 30-day halt to issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas to people from some countries with Muslim majorities.
The Post cited people familiar with the matter as saying that Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, his attorney general pick Jeff Sessions and other senior advisers were heavily involved in discussions about the orders.
Trump has also controversially vowed to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which his predecessor Barack Obama instituted in 2012.
The program allows more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the country as young children to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.
But whether, and how, Trump addresses DACA this week was unclear.
“Many options are being worked through on DACA,” the Post quoted a White House official as saying.
In addition to the border wall, Trump also wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada, warning last week that he would abandon the pact unless the United States gets “a fair deal.”
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed on Monday that there would be “neither confrontation nor submission” in the negotiations, which will include trade, immigration and other issues. -AFP