Trump is expected to wield his executive power again later this week with the directive to dam the refugee flow into the U.S. for at least four months, in addition to the open-ended pause on Syrian arrivals.
The president’s upcoming order is also expected to suspend issuing visas for people from several predominantly Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — for at least 30 days, according to a draft executive order obtained by The Associated Press.
Trump is unveiling his immigration plans at a time when detentions at the nation’s southern border are down significantly from levels seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The arrest tally last year was the fifth-lowest since 1972. Deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally also increased under President Barack Obama, though Republicans criticized him for setting prosecution guidelines that spared some groups from the threat of deportation, including those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
As a candidate, Trump tapped into the immigration concerns of some Americans who worry both about a loss of economic opportunities and the threat of criminals and terrorists entering the country. His call for a border wall was among his most popular proposals with supporters, who often broke out in chants of “build that wall” during rallies.