David Blackwell / CC BY-ND 2.0

President Trump is expected to sign executive orders that will begin construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and temporarily ban refugees from the Middle East, in addition to other initiatives.

The Guardian reports:

The new US president is expected to sign orders setting out federal funding for the wall during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, two administration officials told the Associated Press.

He will also impose a temporary ban on most refugees and suspend visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries, congressional aides and immigration experts briefed on the measures told Reuters.

According to a report in the New York Times, Trump is also considering measures that are even more contentious, including reviewing whether to resume the once-secret “black site” detention programme, designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, and keeping open the Guantánamo Bay detention centre. …

The restrictions on refugees are likely to include bans for several months on admissions from all countries until the state and homeland security departments can make the vetting process more rigorous. The US already has one of the most rigorous vetting processes in the world, and it can take up to two years of interviews and background checks for a person to gain admittance. …

To block entry from the designated countries, Trump is likely to instruct the state department to stop issuing visas to people from those nations, according to sources familiar with the visa process. He could also instruct Customs and Border Protection to stop any current visa holders from those countries from entering the US. During the campaign, Trump also floated the idea of a religious registry, a plan that would be likely to face challenges in the courts.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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