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Trump Begins Immigration Crackdown, Authorizing Border Wall & New ICE Agents

HeadlineJan 26, 2017

President Trump has begun a sweeping crackdown on immigration and against undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. On Wednesday, at the Department of Homeland Security, President Trump signed two executive orders to immediately begin construction to expand the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The construction of the expanded wall is expected to cost tens of billions of dollars. Over the last decade, the U.S. has already installed 700 miles of fencing and tens of thousands of motion sensors, as well as spy towers, radar systems, Predator surveillance drones and thousands of law enforcement agents along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has vowed to force Mexico to pay for the wall, a pledge widely rejected by Mexico’s leaders. This is Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is threatening to cancel his visit to the United States.

President Enrique Peña Nieto: “Today, the president of the United States signed two directives related to our country: one to implement migration measures and the other to extend the wall on the border. I have said, time and time again, Mexico will not pay for any wall.”

Trump is also calling for the Department of Homeland Security to hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more immigration officers. The orders signed Wednesday revive a program known as Secure Communities, under which local law enforcement agencies share information with federal officers in order to accelerate deportations. The program was ended by President Obama after years of resistance by immigrant justice groups. The orders also strip funding from so-called sanctuary cities. Trump’s actions were met by widespread criticism not only across the United States, but also by migrants fleeing violence in their home countries. This is Marisol Zamora, a Salvadoran woman who is seeking to reach the United States for refuge. She’s speaking from a migrant center in Mexico.

Marisol Zamora: “He can say what he says, do what he will. The wall is going to be built, and migrants will continue to cross—a lot. No matter what he says, he isn’t strong. The people are stronger.”

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