Washington, Jan 25 (EFE).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed several executive orders affecting immigration, including one that assigns federal funds for the construction of a wall on the border separating the United States and Mexico.
“We’ve been talking about this from the beginning,” Trump said during the signing ceremony, which took place at the Department of Homeland Security.
The border wall was one of the dominant themes of Trump’s presidential bid, which he launched with a speech denouncing Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.”
Another executive order mandates that the US Border Patrol end “catch and release,” the practice of sending undocumented migrants back to Mexico without subjecting them to arrest and processing.
Trump also put his signature to an order aimed at denying federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities, where local authorities decline to cooperate with efforts to detain and deport undocumented migrants who have not committed crimes.
The list of US municipalities that have declared themselves sanctuary cities includes New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
In an interview earlier Wednesday with ABC News, the president said that work on the border wall would begin soon.
“As soon as we can, as soon as we can physically do it. I would say in months, yeah. I would say in months – certainly planning is starting immediately,” Trump said, vowing again that Mexico would defray construction costs that could reach as high as $15 billion.
Though the initial financing will come from US taxpayers, “we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico,” Trump said.
“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,” the president told ABC.
The Mexican government has said repeatedly that it will not pay for the wall.