Published On: Thu, Jan 26th, 2017

TRANSCRIPT, DETAILS: Trump Executive Order on border security and immigration results in more DHS power, a wall and more agents

photo Fibonacci Blue via Flickr


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) (INA), the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109 367) (Secure Fence Act), and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 104 208 Div. C) (IIRIRA), and in order to ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States as well as to ensure that the Nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby order as follows:

Section 1.  Purpose.  Border security is critically important to the national security of the United States.  Aliens who illegally enter the United States without inspection or admission present a significant threat to national security and public safety.  Such aliens have not been identified or inspected by Federal immigration officers to determine their admissibility to the United States.  The recent surge of illegal immigration at the southern border with Mexico has placed a significant strain on Federal resources and overwhelmed agencies charged with border security and immigration enforcement, as well as the local communities into which many of the aliens are placed.

Transnational criminal organizations operate sophisticated drug- and human-trafficking networks and smuggling operations on both sides of the southern border, contributing to a significant increase in violent crime and United States deaths from dangerous drugs.  Among those who illegally enter are those who seek to harm Americans through acts of terror or criminal conduct.  Continued illegal immigration presents a clear and present danger to the interests of the United States.


In 2006 President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 which states that “This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.”

The bill was introduced Peter King (R-NY) in the House of Representatives, passing 283 -138 and then passed in the Senate 80 -19. It was opposed by only six Republicans in the House (Don Young, AK; Jim Kolbe, AZ; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, FL and Michael Conaway of Texas) with 64 Democrats voting yes.

On January 23, 2008 the 110th Congress introduced Reinstatement of the Secure Fence Act of 2008 (H.R. 5124). This bill called for Homeland Security to construct an additional 700 miles (1,100 km) of two layered, 14 foot (4 m) high fencing along the southwest border. The bill died in committee and was never voted upon.

By April 2009 Homeland Security had erected about 613 miles (985 km) of new pedestrian fencing and vehicle barriers along the southwest border from California to Texas.

In May 2010, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) unsuccessfully reintroduced his “Finish the Fence” amendment for the second time, which would require Homeland Security to construct an additional 353 miles (568 km) of fencing along the US-Mexico border.

The Republican Party’s 2012 platform highlighted the fact that the rest of the double fencing was never built and stated that “The double-layered fencing on the border that was enacted by Congress in 2006, but never completed, must finally be built.” The Washington Office on Latin America, claims on its Border Fact Check site that the extremely high cost of complying with the Secure Fence Act’s mandate-estimated at US$4.1 billion, or more than the Border Patrol’s entire annual budget of US$3.55 billion- was the main reason that it was not fulfilled.

In short, Congress failed to continue to fund the project past the initial $1.2 billion procured, in order to finish building the fence.

This summary is from Wikipedia.


Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996

This is sometimes abbreviated as “IIRAIRA” or “IIRIRA” which states that immigrants unlawfully present in the United States for 180 days but less than 365 days must remain outside the United States for three years unless they obtain a pardon. If they are in the United States for 365 days or more, they must stay outside the United States for ten years unless they obtain a waiver. If they return to the United States without the pardon, they may not apply for a waiver for a period of ten years.

In 2001, the US Supreme Court decided that Congress did not intend IIRIRA to be applied retroactively to those who pleaded guilty to a crime prior to the enactment of IIRIRA if they would not have been deportable at the time that they pleaded guilty.

Deportees may be held in jail for months, even as much as two years, before being brought before an immigration board, at which defendants need to pay for their own legal representation.

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