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'Build the Wall!' Trump Moves Forward on Controversial Immigration Promise

01-25-2017
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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is moving forward with one of his most controversial campaign promises -- building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

He signed two executive orders Wednesday while attending a ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security. It was held in honor of retired Gen. John Kelly, the newly confirmed secretary of the department.

The executive orders give a boost to the construction of the wall and also take away funds for so-called sanctuary cities. Those are places where authorities do not take into custody illegal immigrants.  

The president announced the news earlier on his personal Twitter account, saying, "We will build the wall. The plan: a measure to jumpstart construction."

Trump is expected to take decisive action on immigration, including a four-month halt on all refugee admissions and a shorter ban on people coming from Muslim majority countries.

The news comes as the administration continues to defend the president's belief that millions of illegal votes were cast in November.

"I think he's stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters. 

The president is also moving ahead on the economy. On Tuesday, he met with the heads of the big three U.S. car companies and other automobile leaders, promising to streamline the environmental permitting process and make the United States business friendly.

"We are bringing manufacturing back to the United States big league. We are reducing taxes very substantially and we are reducing unnecessary regulations," Trump promised. 

In another move aimed at strengthening the economy, Trump signed executive orders to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Trump says that he'll soon announce perhaps his most important nominee: his choice for a new justice on the Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia. 

"We have outstanding candidates and we will pick a truly great Supreme Court Justice," Trump stated. 

The leading candidates are three federal judges who are all strong conservatives.

A top contender right now is Neil Gorsuch, who is known as a judge in the mold of Scalia, interpreting the Constitution and laws based on their original meaning.

Also on the short list is William Pryor, who once called the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion an "abomination."

Finally, there's Thomas Hardiman, known for his support of gun rights.

The president says he'll announce his decision next week.

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