President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday that will create a new federal law aimed at preventing law enforcement agencies from using federal funds to target undocumented immigrants.
The order directs federal agencies to cooperate with local law enforcement officials to fight illegal immigration.
Trump said in a statement that the order will give states and localities the flexibility to decide how to enforce immigration laws and protect the safety of citizens.
It also gives states the power to “use state resources to address the serious public safety threats facing our communities, including, but not limited to, the spread of illegal drugs, weapons, human trafficking, and the financing of criminal organizations.”
States will be able to use “any and all available resources,” including funding from federal grants, to help local police departments protect citizens and public safety.
The Trump administration said the order also creates new categories of federal funding to “provide grants to States and local governments to combat crimes that are violent, destructive, or have a nexus to terrorism, gang activity, or other crimes, including gang affiliation, gang membership, and drug trafficking.”
States must comply with all federal guidelines that are contained in the executive order, the administration said.
The measure was announced by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a series of tweets and on social media.
It is “not an immigration ban,” Tillerson said.
It merely creates a new, broad federal law to address many of the serious and growing threats facing American communities and our nation.
We have already taken action to end the sanctuary cities.
Now it’s time to take action to keep Americans safe and protect our country.
https://t.co/J5eCf7jTJQ pic.twitter.com/Qy9Z3xj2XQ — Secretary of STATE (@StateDept) February 11, 2021The order will be subject to congressional approval and requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a report within 90 days.
The new law would create a special Homeland Security Advisory Council.
It will be led by Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, a former Republican lawmaker and the president’s former national security adviser.
The council would be tasked with advising DHS on strategies and actions to address federal and state-level threats.
The president’s executive order says that the council will have no role in determining the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
“This will be a non-binding advisory council,” Tillerson told reporters Monday morning.
“I think this will be one of the best tools that we have to get these problems solved.”
Tillerson said the council would have no authority to make recommendations on federal funding or policy.
“I don’t know if that’s a question or a concern,” he said.
“It will be advisory to the secretary of Homeland security.
This is a very technical thing, but we have already worked with the states on this, so it doesn’t take that much of a lot of time to get this done.”
Trump said Monday that the Trump administration’s action to protect communities from illegal immigration is “just a first step.”
“This is not an immigration order,” he added.
“We’re going to protect the American people and the communities we live in.”