Trump Plans Major Immigration Crackdown: Reports

Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 11:03 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is set to sign several executive orders, including one on building a border wall with Mexico, this week to crack down on immigrants - one of his central campaign promises - and could suspend immigration from some Muslim nations, media reports have said. 

Trump is expected to order the construction of the border wall with Mexico, the first in a series of actions to bolster national security, The New York Times reported.

The border wall was a signature promise of Trump's campaign to control the illegal flow of immigrants. 

His actions would also include slashing the number of refugees who can resettle in the US and blocking Syrians and others from "terror prone" nations from entering, at least temporarily. 

He could move to suspend some immigration from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, either temporarily or "indefinitely," sources familiar with the plans that have been under consideration were quoted as saying by the ABC news. 

"Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!," Trump tweeted. 

He also plans to review whether to resume the once-secret "black site" detention programme; keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay; and designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. 

Trump is expected to target legal immigrants as early as this week, White House officials said, by halting a decades- old programme that grants refuge to the world's most vulnerable people. 

The refugee policy under consideration would halt admissions from Syria and suspend it from other majority- Muslim nations until the administration can study how to properly vet them. 

The plan is believed to be in line with a ban on Muslim immigrants that Trump proposed during his campaign, arguing that such a step was warranted given concerns about terrorism. 

The expected actions drew strong criticism from immigrant advocates and human rights groups, which called them discriminatory moves that rejected the American tradition of welcoming immigrants of all backgrounds. 

"To think that Trump's first 100 days are going to be marked by this very shameful shutting of our doors to everybody who is seeking refuge in this country is very concerning," said Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. 

"Everything points to this being simply a backdoor Muslim ban." 

Sources outside the government familiar with the Trump team proposals say they expect any presidential action will not impact young immigrants currently benefiting from former President Barack Obama's initiative known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides temporary legal protection and work permits, ABC News said. 

During the campaign, Trump promised swift action on immigration on "Day One" in office. He pledged to cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities, suspend immigration countries with ties to terrorism, investigate abuses of visa programmes and deport criminal undocumented immigrants.

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