By the numbers:
- People to be hired during federal hiring freeze: 15,000
- Instances of voter fraud since 1982: 450
- Mexican President Peña Nieto’s approval rating: 12 percent
The wall is being built and America is paying for it (for now)
President Trump signed an executive order today for the Department of Homeland Security to direct existing funds to the construction of a border wall. Since the president doesn’t hold the power of the purse, he’s limited in how much of this wall he can build for now. That’s where Congress comes in, and Speaker Paul Ryan today laid out the plan for the GOP moving forward. That plan includes the wall being funded by August.
“All it is, is we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. What I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico,” Trump said in an interview with ABC.
Mexican President Peña Nieto is now considering cancelling his trip to Washington. Nieto has been criticized for not going harder on Trump. This paired with record low approval ratings and a corruption scandal last year put U.S. and Mexico relations in a tumultuous state.
The executive order also outlines the hiring of 5,000 border agents and 10,000 immigration officers — amid a federal hiring freeze — as well as granting state and local law enforcement officers the powers of an immigration officer.
These new hires will staff new detention centers, which the Trump administration plans to build by the wall to house undocumented immigrants. These hires also now have the power to determine who poses a risk to public safety or national security. Critics have called the large amounts of new hires that will be deciding who is a risk to public safety on a whim a “deportation force.”
Sanctuary cities are now in administration’s sights
In Section 9 of the executive order, Trump has given the Attorney General the power to identify sanctuary jurisdictions and then make sure they are not eligible for federal funds. This doesn’t immediately withdraw funds from the sanctuary cities, as the director of the Office of Management and Budget is then directed to obtain all information on the federal funds these cities receive.
This executive order effectively lies the stage for the Trump administration to withhold federal funds from cities that ignore federal immigration policy. The cities at risk in Ohio are: Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lake County, Lima, Lorain, Lucas County, Oberlin and Painesville.