President Donald TRump is expected to sign an executive order demanding the construction of a wall along the Mexico border

Donald Trump To Sign Orders Starting Construction Of Mexican Border Wall, Banning Syrian And Muslim Refugees

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday to demand the beginning of construction of a wall on the border of the United States with Mexico. White House officials confirmed to the New York Times that Trump will sign the order that will prompt into action one of his earliest campaign pledges.

During a visit to the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday, Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will funnel federal funding toward the construction of a border wall. Trump claims that the wall is necessary to stem those who cross into the United States from its southern border without necessary documentation.

While the funding for the wall will initially come from taxpayer-provided funds, Trump has insisted since the beginning of his campaign that he will demand Mexico pay for it. One way he might be able to do so is by restructuring trade deals with the country.

Reports this week suggested that Trump is preparing to demand talks with Canada and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to restructure the deal. Reuters reported that although Mexico is reluctant to make changes to the 1994 NAFTA agreement, it may have to bend to pressure from the Trump administration to ensure a trade deal of some kind remains in place. The U.S. is a vital market for the Mexican economy, with some 80 percent of exports heading north.

Any discussions around NAFTA could bring into play broader talks about immigration and border security. While Mexican officials wish to maintain free access for Mexican products without tariffs, it’s possible that Trump may insist on them to offset the cost of building the border wall. Mexico has suggested it may withdraw from NAFTA if it does not find any new potential agreement favorable for the country and its citizens.

Alternatively, Trump has suggested he will pay for the wall using funds recouped from Mexicans who send money home if they cannot prove their legal status in the United States. Mexicans receive an estimated $24 billion from people in the United States every year.

Some estimates suggest that the cost of the wall will be between $15 billion and $25 billion. The wall is expected to be made from concrete and to reach up to 50 feet in height at some parts along the 1,954-mile border.

Trump is also said to be considering plans to halt Syrian refugees from entering the United States and to reduce the immigration of refugees from some majority-Muslim countries deemed “terror-prone.” Actions on those fronts could be initiated with an executive order as early as this week, as Trump moves to curtail policies that enable vulnerable people from throughout the world to find solace in the United States.

The proposed policy would place a temporary freeze on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Such an order could also reduce by half the number of refugees who will be allowed to settle in the United States. At one point during his campaign, Trump proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States as a counterterrorism measure.

Trump is also expected to take action against cities where local authorities are refusing to turn over undocumented workers for deportation, according to the Washington Post.

It was not clear, as of Tuesday night, how the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers temporary protection from deportation to many who arrived in the United States as children, factors into the immigration-related executive orders Trump plans to sign this week. During his campaign, Trump vowed to reverse the program.

[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]

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