Trump signs executive order requiring weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants

AP

In his fifth day as president of the United States, Donald Trump signed an executive order titled "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States." The order seeks to criminalize sanctuary cities — cities that shelter undocumented immigrants and oftentimes don't inquire about one's immigration status — by cutting off their federal funds as well as to "ensure that aliens ordered removed ... are promptly removed." Also, the order states that the government will "support victims, and the families of victims, of crimes committed by removable aliens."

To "better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions," Trump ordered that a weekly list of "criminal actions committed by aliens" and the sanctuary cities that house them be released to the public.

As the Independent noted, the order doesn't limit the crime reports to just crimes by immigrants in the U.S. illegally, opening the possibility that any immigrant in the U.S. — legally or not — could be included in the report. 

A protester outside city hall in San Francisco Source: Jeff Chiu/AP
A protester outside city hall in San Francisco  Jeff Chiu/AP

The executive order also doesn't say what types of crimes will be included or excluded — misdemeanor, arrest, felony or parking ticket. The president could very well have ordered a public list of crimes by all immigrants in the U.S. for the sake of conflating crimes committed by a fraction of undocumented immigrants, which account for less than 4% of the population, without relevant context. A 2014 report by the Migration Policy Institute found there are 42.4 million immigrants – both legally here and not – living in the U.S. According to a 2016 Pew research report, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and of those, 8 million contribute to the workforce and 66% of adults have been living in the U.S. for over a decade. 

Mayors of sanctuary cities across the country have responded to Trump's executive order yesterday with an adamant rejection. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee released a statement just one hour after Trump's executive order announcement:

We stand by our sanctuary city because we want everybody to feel safe and utilize the services they deserve, including education and health care. ... It is my obligation to keep our city united, keep it strong ... crime doesn't know documentation. Disease doesn't know documentation.