Trump: Construction of southern border wall will begin ‘immediately’

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says in a speech at the Department of Homeland Security that his executive actions on immigration show that "beginning today," the U.S. will get back "control of its border."

Trump says his administration will be working in partnership in Mexico to improve safety and economic opportunity for both countries and will have "close coordination" with Mexico to address drug smuggling.

"We will be working with our friends in Mexico to improve safety and economic opportunity on both sides of the border," Trump said. "We're going to save lives on both sides of the border."

The new president spoke shortly after signing executive orders to strengthen border security and crack down on immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Trump said he has ordered the Secretary of Homeland Security to begin "immediate construction of a border wall" fulfilling a key promise from his 2016 campaign. U.S. taxpayers will cover the upfront costs, but the White House insists Mexico will somehow reimburse the United States.

He said the border wall would also be beneficial to Mexico by deterring illegal immigration from Central America, and keeping illegal weapons and cash from going into Mexico from the U.S. In addition to building the wall, Trump said the executive order:

  • Ends "catch and release" at the border
  • Hires another 500 border control officers
  • Triples the number of ICE officers


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