President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017.
President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. AP Photo - Matt Rourke

US to publish weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants

DONALD Trump has ordered his new administration to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants.

The US President's sweeping new executive order on immigration, which he signed on the fifth day of his presidency, includes a paragraph mandating the Secretary for Homeland Security to "make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens" in the US.

The list will also include details of so-called "sanctuary cities" that refuse to hand over immigrant residents for deportation.

The order reads:

To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens."

It does not specify that only crimes committed by illegal immigrants should be included - raising the prospect of offences committed by any immigrant being published even if the person is living in the US legally.

The decision to publish a list of immigrant crimes is reminiscent of the 'Black crime' listings on Breitbart News - the far-right website that until recently was run by Steve Bannon, who is now Mr Trump's chief strategist.

In an executive order titled "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements", Mr Trump signed into law many of the pledges he made during his election campaign. These include building a wall along the US-Mexico border, deporting illegal immigrants, establishing new immigration detention centres and hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents.

The order claimed the measures were needed to "ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States" and said illegal immigrants "present a significant threat to national security and public safety".

On signing the order, the President read out the names of US citizens who were murdered by illegal immigrants.

Mr Trump has repeatedly promised to deport millions of undocumented migrants from the US. During the presidential campaign, he said:  "We have some bad hombres, and we're going to get them out".

On the issue of Mexican immigrants, he said: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people".

The Republican pledged to remove 11 million undocumented migrants from the US within the first two years of his presidency, although later said the real number would be "probably two million, even three million".

There are an estimated 820,000 undocumented migrants with criminal records in the US.

In response to Mr Trump's threat, the Democrat mayors of a number of large US cities, including New York, Chicago and Seattle, said they would refuse to co-operate with federal authorities attempting to deport immigrants.

The Republican responded by saying he would starve such cities of federal funding, and has now signed this into law via a second executive order, signed on the same day and titled 'Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States'.

This states that "sanctuary jurisdictions" are "not eligible to received Federal grants".

However, some experts have suggested such a move could be illegal. US law says federal funds can only be withheld if a city or state refuses to do something directly related to the funding they are receiving.

For example, money earmarked for education or economic investment could not be withheld if a city refused to comply with immigration enforcement. 

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