Donald Trump signs three more executive orders — this time on crime prevention

Source: AP
Source: AP

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed three more executive orders, all related to crime in the United States.

Trump signed the orders directly after swearing in Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general of the United States, declaring that "a new era of justice begins, and it begins right now."

"I'm signing three executive actions today designed to restore safety in America," Trump said before signing the orders.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked on Thursday why it's OK for Trump to issue so many executive orders, when Republicans — including Trump himself — attacked former President Barack Obama for doing the same thing. 

Spicer responded by saying Obama's executive orders went beyond the powers allowed of the president.

Here is a summary of the three executive orders Trump signed on Thursday:

Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety

In this executive order, Trump declares, "It shall be the policy of the executive branch to reduce crime in America."

In order to do that, the order calls on Sessions to create the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which, according to the order will:

(i) exchange information and ideas among its members that will be useful in developing strategies to reduce crime, including, in particular, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime;
(ii)   based on that exchange of information and ideas, develop strategies to reduce crime;
(iii)  identify deficiencies in existing laws that have made them less effective in reducing crime and propose new legislation that could be enacted to improve public safety and reduce crime;
(iv)   evaluate the availability and adequacy of crime-related data and identify measures that could improve data collection in a manner that will aid in the understanding of crime trends and in the reduction of crime; and
(v)    conduct any other studies and develop any other recommendations as directed by the Attorney General.

The order calls for this task force to present a report on their findings within one year.

Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal and Local Law Enforcement Officers

The next executive order calls on the Department of Justice to "further enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal and local law enforcement officers," within the boundaries of the Constitution.

In order to do that, the order calls on Sessions to "develop a strategy for the Department's use of existing Federal laws to prosecute individuals who commit or attempt to commit crimes of violence against Federal, State, tribal and local law enforcement officers."

It also calls on the DOJ to review whether existing laws are "adequate" to protect law enforcement officers. If the DOJ finds they are not, it calls for Sessions to "make recommendations to the president for legislation to address the protection and safety."

Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking

The final executive order Trump signed on Thursday says "transnational criminal organizations" — such as drug cartels, human trafficking groups and hackers — have "spread throughout the nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens."

Because of that, Trump called for the executive branch to "strengthen enforcement of Federal law in order to thwart transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations, including criminal gangs, cartels, racketeering organizations, and other groups engaged in illicit activities that present a threat to public safety and national security."

In order to do that, Trump's executive order directs federal law enforcement officers to give "high priority and devote sufficient resources" to finding and prosecuting those groups.

It also calls for the secretary of state, the attorney general, the secretary of Homeland Security, and the director of national intelligence to continue working together in the Threat Mitigation Working Group — which Obama created in 2011.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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