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Trump Signs Order for Border Wall Funding, Immigration Crackdown

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump today announced new policies aimed at curbing immigration during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Making true on several campaign promises, the executive orders include diverting US funds to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico and eliminating “sanctuary cities,” which have offered to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. 

"Building this barrier is more than just a campaign promise. It’s a common sense first step to really securing our porous border. This will stem the flow of drugs, crime, illegal immigration into the United States," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today.

In addition to the wall, Spicer said the executive order will bolster Department of Homeland Security funds, increase the number of detention centers at the border, end President Obama's "catch-and-release" program, and prioritize the prosecution and deportation of illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

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Building a border wall between the United States and Mexico could cost the US upwards of $14 billion, according to Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). It could also have a severe environmental impact, affecting 111 endangered species and 108 species of migratory birds, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Trump plans to finance the project, at least in part, by redirecting US foreign aid to Mexico toward building the wall, according to CNN

"Yes, true to his promise, Mexico will pay for this wall," Spicer said.

To increase border security, he announced that Customs and Border Protection would add 5,000 jobs along the US-Mexico border.

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Trump is also targeting “sanctuary cities” by tripling the resources of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), which currently benefits from a budget of around $6 billion. Trump’s order would also cut off federal funds to municipalities that refuse to comply with federal immigration directives. 

Trump’s swift aggressive actions to reduce the flow of legal immigrants into and undocumented immigrants within the United States demonstrates a commitment to a radical national security policy.