The first executive order will order the building of “a large physical barrier on the southern border,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Wednesday. It will also provide the Department of Homeland Security agents “tools and resources to stop illegal immigration from entering the US.”
The second order aims to empower Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and “strip federal grant money from sanctuary cities and states that harbor illegal immigrants,” according to Spicer.
Federal agencies will “unapologetically enforce the law, no ifs ands or buts,” said the White House spokesman.
“A nation without borders is not a nation. Beginning today, the US gets back control of its borders,” Trump said Wednesday afternoon, addressing the DHS and its newly sworn-in secretary, retired Marine General John Kelly.
Trump said he would discuss how to dismantle the drug cartels and stop the flow of illegal weapons from the US into Mexico in an upcoming meeting with his Mexican colleague, making an oblique reference to the “Fast and Furious” scandal during the early years of the Obama administration.
Noting that he has “deep admiration” for the people of Mexico, Trump said his executive orders will “save lives on both sides of the border.”