President Donald Trump signed two executive actions today aimed at immigrant communities.
One action would strip federal funding for sanctuary cities. While more than 400 congregations nationwide have declared their churches "sanctuary" for undocumented immigrants, the tern "sanctuary city" has no official definintion.
Several California cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Ana, have sanctuary policies in place, and the state has placed restrictions that make it difficult for county jails to turn over illegal immigrants to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials. Regionally, federal money is used for homeless shelters, health care and victim’s assistance for those injured in the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
Faith leaders are already protesting the action.
The other action calls for federal funds for an additional 5,000 border patrol agents and beginning work on a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The White House had not yet shared copies of the documents or briefed reporters on the details, the Associated Press reports.
But Trump cast his actions as fulfillment of his campaign pledge to enact hard-line immigration measures, including construction of a wall paid for by Mexico. U.S. taxpayers are expected to pay for the upfront costs, though Trump continues to assert that Mexico will reimburse the money through unspecified means.
The Trump administration is also drafting language for an executive order that would suspend the refugee admission program for 120 days and permit only up to 50,000 refugees from entering the U.S. in fiscal year 2017 — cutting the current policy of 110,000 annual refugees by more than half.