Racine County Eye has expanded its coverage over the past six months. You have come to count on us for stories about our coverage of COVID-19, the elections, social justice issues, business spotlights, hometown heroes, and real estate.
We spend hours making sure you have the highest and best information. If this is important to you, please subscribe today.
What’s In The Executive OrderThe directives ordered the construction of a multi-billion-dollar wall along the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200-km) U.S.-Mexico border, moved to strip federal funding from “sanctuary” states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants, and expanded the force of American immigration agents. His plans prompted an outcry from immigrant advocates and Democratic lawmakers who said Trump was jeopardizing the rights and freedoms of millions of people while treating Mexico as an enemy, not an ally, and soiling America’s historic reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants of all stripes. “The border wall is about political theater at the expense of civil liberties,” said Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition immigrant advocacy group. “It is not national security policy. Border communities are among the safest in the nation, and patrolling them with tens of thousands of heavily armed, poorly trained, unaccountable agents puts lives at risks. This will turn these communities into de facto military zones,” Ramirez said. The White House said the wall would stem the flow of drugs, crime and illegal immigration into the United States. “We are in the middle of a crisis on our southern border: The unprecedented surge of illegal migrants from Central America is harming both Mexico and the United States,” Trump said, adding: “A nation without borders is not a nation.” Trump is also expected to order a review that could lead to bringing back a CIA program for holding terrorism suspects in secret overseas “black site” prisons where interrogation techniques often condemned as torture were used during former Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, two U.S. officials said.
Federal Funding Immigration ReformOfficials in cities such as Racine, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago offer some forms of protection to illegal immigrants. Billions of dollars in federal aid to those cities, often governed by Democrats, could be at risk under Trump’s move. In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Trump said construction on the wall would start within months, with planning starting immediately, and that Mexico would pay back to the United States “100 percent” of the costs. Mexican officials have said they will not pay for the wall. Th White House said Trump’s goal was to get the wall started as quickly as possible using existing government funds and then work with the Republican-led Congress on further appropriations. Trump made cracking down on illegal immigration a key element of his presidential campaign, with supporters at his rallies often chanting: “Build the wall.” The cost, nature and extent of the wall remain unclear. Trump last year put the cost at “probably $8 billion,” although other estimates are higher, and he said the wall would span 1,000 miles (1,600 km) because of the terrain of the border. Trump’s directives would end the practice known by critics as “catch and release” in which authorities apprehend illegal immigrants on U.S. territory but do not immediately detain or deport them. The directives also include hiring 5,000 more U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents used to apprehend people seeking to slip across the border and tripling the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents used to arrest and deport immigrants living in the United States illegally. They also create more detention space for illegal immigrants along the southern border to make it easier to detain and deport them. The intent of the proposals regarding refugees and immigrants from the seven Muslim-majority nations is to head off Islamist violence in the United States. The draft directive on immigration also suspends the U.S. refugee program for four months while determining whether permanent changes to the system are needed. “These orders are a disturbing confirmation of Islamophobic and un-American policy proposals made during the presidential election campaign,” Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad said. On the campaign trail, Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, which he said would protect Americans from jihadist attacks like those targeting European cities. He later said the restrictions would target countries known to be sources of terrorism. (Reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley; Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg, Jonathan Landay, Mark Hosenball, Doina Chiacu, Andy Sullivan and Susan Heavey; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney)
Love what we do?
In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/