WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is reporting moving quickly to make good on President Donald Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration, including preparing to hire hundreds of new officers and scouting locations for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Less than 100 days into Trump’s presidency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already begun coordinating with local police departments about immigration enforcement and examining ways to hasten the hiring of immigration enforcement agents, according to an internal agency memo obtained by The Washington Post.
The department’s plans are only preliminary, the Post reported Thursday, and could be held up by factors, such as the cost of the initiatives and opposition from Congress. Still, the document outlines the agency’s early efforts to put Trump’s immigration executive orders into action.
As a presidential candidate, Trump vowed to ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants and called for the construction of a massive wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. In his first days in office, the president signed executive orders authorizing construction on the wall and calling for broader deportation efforts.
According to the DHS memo, the agency has already found an additional 33,000 beds to house people detained by U.S. immigration officials.
The memo outlines some potential drawbacks to the president’s proposals. For example, hiring 500 new agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would cost $100 million.
That puts a potential snag in Trump’s call to hire an additional 10,000 ICE agents and 5,000 CBP agents. What’s more, congressional Democrats have remained staunchly opposed to the construction of a border wall.
“We believe it would be inappropriate to insist on the inclusion of such funding in a must-pass appropriations bill,” five Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Charles Schumer, wrote in a letter to Senate GOP leaders last month.