Of all the issues on which President Donald Trump campaigned, it is illegal immigration and border security that resonated earliest, loudest, and most persistently. Now, the newest occupant of the White House appears to be wasting no time in getting to work on fulfilling his promises.
As reported by a variety of news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Trump used the tool of executive action on Wednesday to get the ball rolling.
One order essentially re-appropriates money from inside the Homeland Security budget to build a wall on the nation’s southern border. The order also mandates the construction of new detention facilities along that border, as well.
To be clear, the money available presently from Homeland Security is not enough to fully erect the wall about which Trump spent so much time speaking while running for president, and any new money would have to be approved by Congress.
And what about the Trump pledge that Mexico would pay for the wall?
On that, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that “yes, one way or another, as the president has said, Mexico will pay for it.”
In an interview Wednesday with ABC News’ David Muir, Trump himself reiterated that Mexico will be footing the bill for the border wall.
“All it is, is we'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. I'm just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. What I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico.”
An additional executive action signed Wednesday by the president deals with the issue of so-called “sanctuary cities.” The order does away with their federal funding, unless the money is specifically earmarked to fund law enforcement agencies.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large