“We are going to restore the rule of law in the United States,” said President Donald Trump last week as he signed a series of executive orders on immigration policy. But despite considerable criticism in the news media and from left-wing politicians, President Trump did not launch any radical new laws. After all, only Congress can write laws. What President Trump achieved was only a reversal of policy, which means he directed the agencies of the U.S. government to enforce already existing federal immigration laws.
All of those laws were passed by majority votes in Congress from members of both political parties.
But under previous Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, many immigration laws were ignored, particularly with regard to deportation of apprehended illegal aliens, border security, and the illegal hiring of illegal aliens.
In direct language, President Trump declared, “The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.” At the signing of the orders at the Department of Homeland Security, he said, “We do not need new laws. We will work within the existing system and framework.”
Among the orders he signed are directives to begin implementation of legislation already passed by Congress more than eight years ago to build a barrier along the border with Mexico to prevent the illegal immigration and drug smuggling that is at the root of so much street crime in the U.S. today.
In addition, the president directed the U.S. Border Patrol to arrest, detain, and hold for judicial processing all illegal aliens apprehended coming into the U.S. Under the previous Obama administration, vast numbers of apprehended illegals were not detained but merely given a notice to appear at a future immigration hearing and released into the U.S. without tracking or reporting requirements. Needless to say, most of those released never showed up for their immigration hearings.
And in one of the most far-reaching executive orders, the president directed federal agencies to conduct internal reviews and begin the process to withhold federal grants from cities and counties known as “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. He exempted grants for law enforcement from the order.
An estimated 200 or more self-declared “sanctuary” jurisdictions, such as New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and others, refuse to honor requests from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities to detain apprehended illegal aliens for deportation. Those cities often even refuse to hold for deportation illegals convicted of crimes after they have served jail sentences. Many of those criminal illegals released into American communities have committed other crimes against Americans, including rape and murder.
According to Reuters News Service, the ten most populous sanctuary cities receive more than $2 billion in federal aid annually for their municipal budgets , not including funds for law enforcement. President Trump’s strategy is to withhold that money until the cities agree to cooperate with immigration authorities.
“A nation without borders is not a nation. Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” said the President.