President Donald Trump will unveil a series of initiatives Wednesday that will include one of his most anticipated promises he made during the campaign – to build a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night. “Among many other things, we will build the wall!”
How extensive Trump’s actions Wednesday will be was not known. Some Muslim groups said they were bracing for Trump also to reinstate a registration program for men and boys from certain Muslim countries that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but canceled in 2011 by the Obama administration.
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That worry was heightened by a statement from Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and an immigration hardliner who met with Trump during the early days of the transition.
“During the campaign, Trump promised the American people that he would act to protect the American people from terrorists who abuse our immigration system in order to enter the United States,” the statement said. “He is making good on that promise.”
Immigration was Trump’s signature issue on the campaign. At various points, he promised to deport 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, ban all Muslims from entering the country and even enact additional hurdles for immigrants coming into the country legally.
But he’s appeared to soften his stance since the election, saying he would build a fence instead of a wall and deport only some of those in the United States illegally.
Trump is expected to make the announcement about immigration during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday afternoon.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the administration would wait until more Cabinet nominees have been confirmed before making any final decisions about limiting Muslims from entering the country.
“I think that’s gonna be one of the things that he looks at his Department of State when Rex Tillerson gets – gets confirmed and some of the other departments, Homeland Security, in trying to put together a (plan) that enacts this extreme vetting,” Spicer said.
Several of Trump’s promises on immigration can’t be fulfilled without congressional action, including paying for the wall and ending federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities that do not enforce immigration laws.
Bryan Lowry of the Wichita Eagle contributed.