President Trump Issues Border Wall Executive Order

Today, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements."  The Executive Order seeks to improve national security policy and public safety measures by “direct[ing] executive departments and agencies to deploy all lawful means to secure the Nation’s southern border, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States and to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently and humanely.”

The main directives of this Executive Order are to:

  • Construct a physical wall on the southern border of the United States;
  • Detain individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law pending proceedings regarding those violations;
  • Expedite determinations of eligibility to remain in the United States for those apprehended individuals;
  • After criminal and civil sanctions, “promptly” remove those whose claims to stay in the United States have been legally rejected; and
  • Cooperate with States and local law enforcement to enact Federal-State partnerships to enforce Federal immigration “priorities,” State monitoring and detention programs consistent with Federal immigration law and “priorities”

Additionally, the Executive Order directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to:

  • Evaluate, plan and secure funding for the construction of the border wall;
  • Produce a comprehensive study on the security of the southern border within 180 days of the order;
  • Construct facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico;
  • Assign asylum officers to immigration detention facilities to accept asylum referrals and conduct credible fear determinations;
  • Issue new policy guidance terminating the “catch and release” practice, in which aliens are released into the United States after being apprehended;
  • Ensure that aliens are returned to the territory from which they immigrated “pending a formal removal proceeding”;
  • Hire, through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 5,000 new Border Patrol agents;
  • Ensure that the parole and asylum provisions of Federal immigration law are not exploited to prevent the removal of aliens; and
  • Make publicly available monthly reports including statistical data on alien apprehensions around or near the southern border.

You can read the full text of this Executive Order here.