President Donald Trump signed immigration actions to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico Wednesday.
"We've been talking about this right from the beginning," he said.
The president signed the two orders Wednesday during a ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security after honoring the department's newly confirmed secretary, retired Gen. John Kelly.
The executive orders jumpstart construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, one of his signature campaign promises, and strip funding for so-called sanctuary cities, which don't arrest or detain immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. They also included other immigration actions.
Trump, in an interview Wednesday with ABC News, said he expected construction of the wall to begin within months. U.S. taxpayers are expected to pay for the upfront costs, though Trump continues to assert that Mexico will reimburse the money through unspecified means.
"There will be a payment, it will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form," Trump said, adding that negotiations with Mexico would begin soon. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has insisted his country will not pay for a wall, is to meet with Trump at the White House next week.
The president is said to still be weighing the details of plans to curb the number of refugees coming to the U.S. The current proposal includes at least a four-month halt on all refugee admissions, as well as a temporary ban on people coming from some Muslim-majority countries, according to a source from a public policy organization that monitors refugee issues. The person was briefed on the details of that proposed action by a government official and outlined the plan to The Associated Press.
The officials and the public policy organization source insisted on anonymity in order to outline the plans ahead of the president's official announcements.
Trump campaigned on pledges to tighten U.S. immigration policies, including strengthening border security and stemming the flow of refugees. 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.
© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.