President Donald Trump has signed directives to begin building a wall along US border with Mexico and crack down on US cities that shield undocumented immigrants, moving quickly on sweeping and divisive plans to curb immigration and boost national security.
The order, signed on Wednesday, will enable construction of “a large physical barrier on the southern border”, spokesman Sean Spicer said.
“Building this barrier is more than just a campaign promise, it’s a common sense first step to really securing our porous border,” Spicer added.
“This will stem the flow of drugs, crime, illegal immigration into the United States.”
The measure will also bolster resources for border security agents, increase detention space for undocumented immigrants and ensure people are deported.
Reuters news agency also reported that the Republican president is also expected to take steps in the coming days to limit legal immigration, including executive orders restricting refugees and blocking the issuing of visas to people from several Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and North African countries including Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.
The second executive order signed during an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security was to strip federal grant money from “sanctuary” states and cities, often governed by Democrats, that harbor illegal immigrants.