President Donald Trump signed two executive orders Wednesday at the Department of Homeland Security to begin construction of a wall along the border and strip federal funding from sanctuary cities, BuzzFeed News reports.
The wall was one of Trump’s most oft-repeated promises on the campaign trail. “This will stem the flow of drugs, crime, illegal immigration into the United States and, yes, one way or another, as the president has said before, Mexico will pay for it,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. Notice that he didn’t offer specifics in how or when Mexico would pay for the wall. In fact, Mexican President Enrique Nieto has canceled an upcoming meeting with Trump over the order, and said Mexico will under no circumstances be paying for any wall.
Vicente Fox Quesada, a former president of Mexico, sparked a viral hashtag when he tweeted, “Sean Spicer, I’ve said this to @realDonaldTrump and now I’ll tell you: Mexico is not going to pay for that fucking wall.
— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) January 25, 2017
In an interview with ABC’s David Muir, Trump said that the construction of the wall would begin within months and repeated again that Mexico would reimburse the United States for the wall.
Spicer said that the executive orders will “create more detention agreements along the southern border to make it easier and cheaper to detain and return [undocumented immigrants] to their country of origin,” and will focus on “enhancing public safety in the interior of the United States” by stripping federal funds from sanctuary cities, BuzzFeed reports.
Officials who support sanctuary cities were quick to denounce the executive orders, with many arguing that they will defy the orders.
“We’re going to defend all of our people regardless of where they come from, regardless of their immigration status,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said, according to The New York Times.
But Trump has another scheme for how to deal with cities that won’t comply. According to another report from BuzzFeed, President Trump plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The list is supposedly going to make everyone aware of how dangerous sanctuary cities are, but the Trump campaign has a long history of misrepresenting crime statistics in order to push a certain agenda.
Cecillia Wang, deputy legal director of the ACLU, told BuzzFeed, “It’s basically a fear tactic. The weekly list is part and parcel of Trump’s efforts to intimidate and coerce cities, counties, and states.”