On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order for a wall to be constructed between the U.S. and Mexico. In addition, the order halted funding for "sanctuary cities" — cities that have been a refuge for undocumented immigrants. The infamous "wall" was a hallmark of Trump's campaign, with supporters at his rallies frequently chanting, "Build a wall! Build a wall!"
The executive orders come as part of an anti-immigration package ordered by President Trump this week. The package, which would also stop a number of refugees entering the United States — including all refugees from Syria, which remains in the midst of a bloody civil war — is an extension of the divisive anti-immigration policies Trump promised to enact as president. Regions with what the U.S. considers inadequate security screenings will be blocked from having its refugees enter the United States.
As for the wall, it remains unclear whether the United States or Mexico will ultimately pay for it. Trump insisted throughout his campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall in its entirety, but Mexico's president Enrique Peña Nieto has strongly refuted this claim. At present, the U.S. will fund the wall via Trump's executive order, apparently with the understanding that Mexico will pay the country back. It's unclear whether this will happen as planned.
The wall will be built along the border that splits the southern United States and Mexico. Earlier Wednesday, in an interview with ABC News, Trump noted that the negotiations with Mexico over funding for the wall would come "relatively soon."
Stripping funding from "sanctuary cities" means that cities in the U.S. which do not penalize or report undocumented immigrants could be forced to begin doing so.
The latest anti-immigrant orders come after a challenging three days for liberal and civil rights activists. Not only has Donald Trump reinstated the Global Gag Rule and updated it to further harm women's rights, he's also insisted that construction for the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline will continue, and withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
If you've been wondering whether you should put in a call to your senator and representative about the executive orders Trump has been signing off on, now is the time.