President Donald Trump is expected to order the construction of the Mexican border wall on Wednesday and sign executive orders that include a temporary ban on most refugees.
Mr Trump will visit the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday where it is thought he will order federal funds to be allocated towards the building of a wall, one of his signature campaign promises, along America’s southern border with Mexico.
Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday night:
Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
Mr Trump’s insistence that Mexico would pay for the wall was among his most popular proposals on the campaign trail, sparking enthusiastic cheers at his raucous rallies.
Mexico has repeatedly said it will not pay for any border wall. Earlier this month, Trump said the building project would initially be paid for with a congressionally approved spending bill and Mexico will eventually reimburse the U.S., though he has not specified how he would guarantee payments.
Mr Trump will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the White House next week.
Mexico will pay for the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2016
In claiming authority to build a wall, Trump may rely on a 2006 law that authorized several hundred miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile frontier. That bill led to the construction of about 700 miles of various kinds of fencing designed to block both vehicles and pedestrians.
The Secure Fence Act was signed by then-President George W. Bush and the majority of the fencing in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California was built before he left office. The last remnants were completed after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
He is also expected to order a multi-month ban on allowing refugees into the United States except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place.
Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the unnamed aides and experts told Reuters.