By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, President Donald J Trump signed a series of executive actions designed to improve border security and remove criminal illegal aliens. Most of Alabama’s congressional delegation were quick to praise Pres. Trump’s actions.
US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) commended President Trump on his decision to issue executive orders on securing the southern border and enforcing immigration laws, saying the actions are a positive first step toward addressing the nation’s illegal immigration problem.
Congresswoman Roby said, “President Trump’s executive orders today represent a positive first step toward getting control of our illegal immigration problem through enhancing border security and cutting off the magnet of sanctuary cities.”
Rep. Roby said, “We need to have immigration policies that put American’s interests first and discourage people from entering the country illegally. For too long, we’ve had the opposite. I look forward to advancing policies that will help secure the border, stop illegal immigration, and prevent human trafficking through my work on the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said: “It is exciting to have a President who is actually focused on securing our border and addressing the widespread issue of illegal immigration. I have said repeatedly that the immigration issue is critical because it deals directly with the safety and security of the American people. With the actions taken today, I think we are taking important steps in the right direction. More work will be needed, and I am committed to doing what I can in Congress to secure the border and stop illegal immigration.”
US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said, “Sanctuary cities blatantly ignore our nation’s immigration laws, which is why I have long advocated restricting their access to the Department of Justice’s state and local grant funding. I am pleased that President Trump recognizes that we must not allow municipalities to obstruct policies to remove illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. Today’s executive action is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to working with the Trump Administration to ensure that action is taken against local governments who refuse to follow our immigration laws.”
US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said, “I’m glad President Trump is quickly taking action to enforce our immigration laws, deport illegal aliens, and withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities. America is a nation of laws, first and foremost, and the President’s actions are a strong step toward restoring our country’s borders and broken immigration system.”
President Trump signed executive actions Wednesday ordering the construction of a US-Mexico border wall and targeting sanctuary cities, following through on campaign promises that he made to the American people throughout the campaign.
President Trump said, “A nation without borders is not a nation”, after signing the measures, while speaking to employees at the Department of Homeland Security. “Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders.”
The first order calls for the “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border,” and directs the DHS secretary to take “all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct” the wall using authority under existing law.
President Trump is also calling for hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal aliens. Trump also ordered the hiring of 10,000 more Immigration officers; restoring the Secure Communities program and other local partnerships allowing the federal government to partner with state and local law enforcement in identifying and targeting illegal aliens. Trump directed the State Department to use leverage to ensure illegal immigrants are taken back by their country of origin. Trump also signed an order stripping federal grant money from sanctuary states and cities that are protecting illegal aliens.
Bipartisan legislation ordering construction of a border wall was passed in 2006. President Trump is relying on that law which authorized several hundred miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile frontier. That bill led to the construction of about 700 miles of various kinds of fencing designed to block both vehicles and pedestrians, most of it in Texas.