President Donald Trump will take executive action Wednesday directing federal resources toward building a border wall, a White House official confirmed.
The move begins a multi-day roll out of immigration actions that are also expected to include moves related to refugees and visas. Trump will make the announcement during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security at 1:25 p.m. ET.
Trump himself hinted at Wednesday’s move on Twitter, writing “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”
Trump plans to issue two executive orders Wednesday during his visit to the Department of Homeland Security, according to a person familiar with the President’s plan.
The first will direct the agency to begin construction of the border wall, as well as take steps to repair existing areas of fencing along the frontier between the US and Mexico. The order will also include a mandate to increase staff at Customs and Border Protection by 5,000 and alleviate the flood of migrants fleeing violence in Central America.
According to the person familiar with the plans, Trump’s executive order will require DHS to publicly detail what aid is currently directed to Mexico, an indication of an eventual move toward redirecting some of that money to fund the wall’s construction — and giving cover for a longstanding campaign promise to have Mexico pay for the structure.
A second order will work to eliminate so-called “sanctuary cities,” where municipal governments refuse to hand over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities. That order will triple resources for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and direct the federal government to identify criminal aliens in the US.
Officials said Trump would wait until later in the week to take action on visas and refugees, potentially as early as Thursday.