President Donald Trump on Wednesday will order the construction of a Mexican border wall — the first in a series of actions this week to crack down on immigrants and bolster national security, including slashing the number of refugees who can resettle in the United States and blocking Syrians and others from “terror-prone” nations from entering, at least temporarily.
The orders are among an array of national security directives Trump is considering issuing in the coming days, according to people who have seen the orders. They include reviewing whether to resume the once-secret “black site” detention program; keep open the prison at Guantánamo Bay; and designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
According to a draft, the order on detention policies would start a review of “whether to reinstate the program of interrogation of high-value alien terrorists to be operated outside the United States, and whether such a program should include the use of detention facilities operated by the CIA.” But one section of the draft would require that “no person in the custody of the United States shall at any time be subjected to torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as described by U.S. or international law.”
“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night. “Among many other things, we will build the wall!”
Trump will sign the executive order for the wall during an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, as Mexico’s foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, arrives in Washington to prepare for the visit this month of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The refugee policy under consideration would halt admissions from Syria and suspend admissions from other majority-Muslim nations until the administration can study how to properly vet the applicants. This would pave the way for the administration to slash the number of displaced people who can be resettled on U.S. soil and would effectively bar the entry of people from Muslim countries — including Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria — at least for some time.
The expected actions drew strong criticism from immigrant advocates and human rights groups.
Julie Davis, thespec.com | Photo: CNBC
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