Our American values and laws dictate that everyone receive a just and fair process, whether they have been in in this country for decades or are arriving at our border today in search of safety and protection.
Today, President Trump signed two executive orders on immigration that seek to shut America’s doors and label immigrants as invaders and criminals.
The “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvement” executive order is an attempt to fulfill his campaign pledge to build a wall at the southern border, to provide additional resources to Border Patrol agents, to curtail due process at the border, and to increase detention along the southern border, including for those who are seeking protection. It also encourages expanded collaboration with state and local law enforcement to act as immigration agents. Much of what is contained in this order would require vast amounts of funding and additional appropriations from Congress.
The “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” executive order will ramp up interior enforcement by dramatically expanding the enforcement priorities to include anyone who committed an act that could be considered a crime, no matter how small. The order also includes a revival of the problematic Secure Communities program (which was ended under the Obama Administration), orders the Secretary of Homeland Security to consider stripping federal funding from so-called Sanctuary Cities, and encourages additional criminal prosecutions of immigrants for illegal entry.
Over the next few weeks and months, we expect the President’s cabinet and agency staff to begin implementing the directives in the orders and issuing additional orders that adversely impact refugees and nationals of Muslim-majority countries.
These executive orders double down on an enforcement-only approach, a costly, ineffective, and mean-spirited strategy that runs counter to our American tradition of welcoming immigrants.
Immigrants strengthen America by bringing skills, talents and new energy to our economy and most Americans believe in a welcoming and inclusive America, one where all individuals are treated with respect and fairness, no matter where they were born or how they arrived in this country.
Our nation needs a practical and efficient immigration policy that honors immigrants’ contributions, fuels our economy, protects families, and benefits all Americans.