Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to begin construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border, one of the president's most controversial campaign pledges. Trump has also signed an order that will block federal funds for the "sanctuary cities," which protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Cities that refuse to provide information to federal authorities about the situation of immigrants, including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, will have their federal funds abolished

After signing the orders, Donald Trump addressed officials at the Department of Homeland Security.

According to him, the texts order:

  • Immediate construction of a border wall
  • End the "catch and release" policy at the border and require other countries to accept immigrants back.
  • Repression of city-sanctuary.
  • More power to patrolmen to approach and remove those who pose a threat to national security.
  • Hiring 5,000 additional border patrolmen (tripling the number of employees).
  • Creation of an office dedicated to supporting victims of illegal immigration.

During the speech the president said that a nation without borders is not a nation, and that from this date the United States take back control of its borders. He added that the orders he signed would save thousands of lives, millions of jobs and billions of dollars.

Trump also said that the US government will work in partnership with the Mexican to improve security and economic opportunities on both sides. The meeting of Donald Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico, is scheduled for January 31.

Construction 'in months'

In an interview with ABC News, Trump said the construction of the wall on the Mexican border will begin as soon as possible.

According to the president the construction planning begins immediately after the signing of the executive orders. The construction will be funded by the American taxpayers, but Trump said that soon the country had started a repayment deal with Mexico.

President Enrique Peña Nieto stated that Mexico will not pay for the wall.

Faced with such a statement, Donald Trump said that the Mexican president must say this to his country, but there will be a payment, it will be in an easy or complicated way. The American president added that what he is doing is good for the United States and will also be good for Mexico.

Campaign promises

The construction of the wall along the entire US-Mexico border has always been one of the main promises of the current US president, as well as making the neighboring country pay the bill and deport all illegal immigrants living in the United States. The border between the two countries is about 1900 miles long and there is already a type of barrier in one third of its length. The other areas are in desert and mountainous regions, difficult to reach.

It is estimated that about 11 million immigrants live irregularly in the United States, many of whom have entered unpatrolled land, and these people have never entered government records. To address the situation, Trump intends to triple the number of deportation agents to 15,000. During the campaign the president also promised to suspend the immigration of Muslims in the country. Although discrimination by religion is prohibited in the country, the American president can veto the granting of visas to specific nationalities.

First actions

In the opening hours of the White House, Trump signed an executive order to weaken Obamacare, the health program approved under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Last Monday also signed another order to begin the exit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed by 12 countries. According to the American president, this agreement violates the interests of US workers.

Projects from two controversial oil pipelines, the extensive Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry oil from Canada to refineries in the United States, and another that will cross Indian territory in North Dakota, were also approved by Trump last Tuesday.