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On Wednesday afternoon, the White House released two executive orders from President Donald Trump that followed up on his campaign promises to emphasize aggressive enforcement immigration policies. The first order, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” called, among other things, for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as an increase in border agent hires and detention centers. The second order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” promised to not grant federal funds to sanctuary cities.

President Trump shared his remarks about two orders at a speech he gave at the Department of Homeland Security:

Throughout the day, Latino USA attended several media calls in response to the Wednesday’s news. The response from the mostly Democratic voices condemned Trump’s latest actions:

In addition, Latino USA received several press statements from Latino and immigrant rights organizations. Here is a sample of those statements:

Arturo Vargas of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)
“Modernizing our nation’s immigration system continues to be one of the top issues for Americans, making it critical that President Trump and Congress to work together to fix a problem that has been ignored for far too long. While we appreciate efforts by President Trump to begin this process in his first week in office, the executive actions signed into law today are a misguided first step.  The construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico would not only be costly and ineffective policy, but also a divisive act that is contrary to our history as a nation of immigrants.”

Janet Murguía of the National Council of La Raza
“Rather than provide real solutions, President Trump has decided to trigger greater chaos and fear, set in motion a mass deportation force, bully cities that refuse to indiscriminately persecute immigrant communities, and waste billions on a wall. None of these actions will fix anything, but will devastate our economy and the social fabric of our country Candidate Trump slandered Mexican immigrants as criminals, questioned the fairness of a distinguished U.S.-born judge based solely on his Mexican heritage, and constantly repeated debunked falsehoods about immigration. Unfortunately, President Trump’s announcement today shows his intention to stay on this path. While the president said that there is no room for prejudice in patriotism, his actions today are all about building a wall of intolerance. As we unite with allies to protect and defend vulnerable communities, we will ensure that Latino voters are aware of who contributed to unleashing these extreme measures, as well as who sat idly by while our community’s rights were trampled.”

Milton Rosado of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
“Experts have estimated that the wall would cost at least $20 billion, an enormous sum that would be better spent creating good jobs rebuilding our national infrastructure. Repairs and improvements to our aviation, rail, maritime, transit and road networks are urgently needed, and would create direct benefits and enormous, positive ripple effects for our economy. Trump’s anti-worker, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim threats are becoming a terrifying reality at the level of national policy and facts on the ground. In this time of crisis, LCLAA will do all that is in our power to fight for the human rights of all, especially critical labor rights – paid leave, overtime, living wage, safety and freedom from sexual harassment – that are under attack from this administration.”

Milton Rosado of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
“Experts have estimated that the wall would cost at least $20 billion, an enormous sum that would be better spent creating good jobs rebuilding our national infrastructure. Repairs and improvements to our aviation, rail, maritime, transit and road networks are urgently needed, and would create direct benefits and enormous, positive ripple effects for our economy. Trump’s anti-worker, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim threats are becoming a terrifying reality at the level of national policy and facts on the ground. In this time of crisis, LCLAA will do all that is in our power to fight for the human rights of all, especially critical labor rights – paid leave, overtime, living wage, safety and freedom from sexual harassment – that are under attack from this administration.”

Marielena Hincapié of National Immigration Law Center
President Trump campaigned on a hateful, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim vision for America—a vision that, through his actions today, could become an extremely harsh reality. These executive orders will be costly, ineffective, and harmful, and they’ll have devastating consequences for all of us. Trump’s orders demand that local police become de facto immigration agents and authorize a supersizing of the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, all while freezing the hiring of immigration judges. This will result in a monumental waste of taxpayer money and will create chaos in our immigration system and courts.”

Kica Matos of Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM):
“Today’s announcements are the stuff of nightmares.  Only in our darkest fears could Americans imagine such heartless treatment of human beings.  Families will suffer from fear and uncertainty because of today’s announcements. President Donald Trump today declared war on immigrant families by targeting the cities that offer them sanctuary from hateful policies like the ones his administration is embracing. By issuing an executive order to cut funding to the hundreds of cities and counties who have identified as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants Trump is cementing his stamp of hatred and bigotry to a huge segment of our population. The faith community founded sanctuary cities to protect refugees and immigrants from harsh policies and will continue to dos so.  The immigrant rights community and its supporters will continue to fight hard to protect our families from all egregious policies.”

In addition, a #NoBanNoWall reaction is beginning to gain steam on Twitter in response to Trump’s executive orders:

During the election season, Latino USA visited Arizona, the state with the most fencing along the border.

Latino USA also reported about The Remembrance Project, a group that memorializes victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. The group was mentioned in Trump’s Wednesday speech.