President Donald Trump’s new and tougher policies on immigration are closer to reality Tuesday with the release of a new action plan by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Among other items, the 13-page plan includes hiring more Border Patrol agents, enlisting support from state and local law enforcement agencies and taking further steps toward building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border Patrol agents

An additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents will be hired “as soon as practicable” and “subject to the availability of resources,” the department announced. The department also plans to hire an additional 500 officers for patrolling and making arrests on water, and monitoring border activity from the air.

Local law enforcement

The department plans to enter into written agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies to authorize qualified officers to assist the federal government in arresting and removing illegal immigrants. The agreements would authorize state and local agencies to “investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, transport and conduct searches of an alien for the purposes of enforcing the immigration laws,” according to the department announcement.

The department may have difficulty gaining the cooperation of the State of California, which has vowed to fight Trump on immigration orders. Some local cities have declared themselves sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, and several other cities have police departments that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration efforts.

Border wall

The department ordered its staff to immediately begin the “planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads, along the border with Mexico.” Among the areas where there will be immediate upgrade of barriers are El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Arizona and El Centro, California.

In a possible move toward forcing to Mexico to pay for it, the department will carry out a directive to investigate and report all direct and indirect financial aid granted to the Government of Mexico by the U.S. Government. A report will be issued annually for the next five years.

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