On day 5 of Donald Trump’s administration, the president signed two immigration-related executive orders, officially moving forward on some of the key promises of his campaign: deporting undocumented immigrants, building a wall between the US and Mexico, and placing extra scrutiny on immigrants from Muslim countries.
One order, titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” targets “removable aliens”—or immigrants who either entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas—and the so-called “sanctuary city” that offer them protection against deportation. Among other measures, the order cuts federal funding to such cities (though the president might not have the authority to do so, according to New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman), and promises to quickly deport undocumented immigrants.
It does not specify that only crimes committed by illegal immigrants should be included – raising the prospect of offences committed by any immigrant being published even if the person is living in the US legally.
The decision to publish a list of immigrant crimes is reminiscent of the ‘Black crime’ listings on Breitbart News – the far-right website that until recently was run by Steve Bannon, who is now Mr Trump’s chief strategist.
In an executive order titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”, Mr Trump signed into law many of the pledges he made during his election campaign. These include building a wall along the US-Mexico border, deporting illegal immigrants, establishing new immigration detention centres and hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents.
The order claimed the measures were needed to “ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States” and said illegal immigrants “present a significant threat to national security and public safety”.
On signing the order, the President read out the names of US citizens who were murdered by illegal immigrants.