On day six of Donald Trump’s administration, the president signed two immigration-related executive orders, officially moving forward on some of the key promises of his campaign: deporting undocumented immigrants, building a wall between the US and Mexico, and placing extra scrutiny on immigrants from Muslim countries.
One order, titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” targets “removable aliens”—or immigrants who either entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas—and the so-called “sanctuary city” that offer them protection against deportation. Among other measures, the order cuts federal funding to such cities (though the president might not have the authority to do so, according to New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman), and promises to quickly deport undocumented immigrants.
While the order specifies that the order’s enforcement will prioritize undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes in the US (entering the country illegally or overstaying is a civic offense, not a crime, according to the US law), that’s not the only reason an immigrant could be removed from the US. The order also applies to the immigrants who, “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”
Further the president said that the Secretary of Homeland Security will be publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants, and of the cities that refused to turn them in for deportation. The order doesn’t say whether the list would single out only undocumented immigrants, or all immigrants.
To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.
This proposed list is a move reminiscent of Breitbart News, the conservative site founded by Trump senior advisor Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior strategy: infamously, Breitbart had a “black crime” section, opened as a response to Black Lives Matter.