World

Trump tweets: Big day planned, we'll build that wall

US president due to sign executive orders restricting refugees, visas and immigration

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump was to sign executive orders starting yesterday, restricting refugees, visas and immigration, making good on his signature campaign pledges, US media has reported.

Mr Trump was due to speak yesterday to employees at the Department of Homeland Security, which handles immigration, and sign orders there on refugees and national security, according to The Washington Post and CNN.

"Big day planned on national security tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!" Trump tweeted late Tuesday (US time).

But it remains unclear how the orders would be implemented by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who told his confirmation hearing that the border wall might not "be built anytime soon".

Today, Mr Trump is expected to sign executive orders on immigration and so-called sanctuary cities, where local officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities on things such as handing over illegal immigrants for deportation.

The orders would restrict immigration and access to the US for refugees and visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, according to the Post, which noted that the citizens from many of these countries already face big obstacles in obtaining US visas.

Immigration experts told the newspaper that the orders would stop all admissions of refugees for 120 days, and include a 30-day halt to issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas to people from some countries with Muslim majorities.

DISCUSSIONS

The Post cited people familiar with the matter as saying that Mr Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon, his attorney general pick Jeff Sessions and other senior advisers were heavily involved in discussions about the orders.

Mr Trump has also controversially vowed to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme, which his predecessor Barack Obama instituted in 2012.

The programme allows more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the country as young children to live and work in the US without fear of deportation.

But whether, and how, Mr Trump will address the Daca this week is unclear.

"Many options are being worked through on Daca," the Post quoted a White House official as saying.

In addition to the border wall, Mr Trump also wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with Mexico and Canada.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed on Monday that there would be "neither confrontation nor submission" in the negotiations. - AFP

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