Mississippi Governor Says He Will Assist Trump in Illegal Immigration Crackdown
Feb 25, 2017 By Fred Lucas
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is ready to assist in President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, but some of his fellow Republicans are less than eager to cooperate.
Bryant contends that beefed up enforcement at the federal level can only help states.
“The federal law is the federal law,” Bryant told Newsmax while visiting Washington for the National Governors Association winter meeting this weekend. “You see now that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is simply enforcing the federal laws. I like to remind people, if we are going to ignore these laws, they need to tell us what other laws we need to ignore.”
In late January, Trump signed a series of executive orders that included building a wall on the southern border, increasing interior enforcement and scaling back federal funding for sanctuary cities. Trump signed another executive order restricting immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries, which several Democratic states have sued to stop.
“We are now working on a bill that would deny any support from sanctuary cities and sanctuary universities,” Bryant said. “We simply believe this is a nation of laws and we should abide by them.”
Border state Republican governors have weighed in. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised Trump’s actions. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey met earlier this month with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and the two did an hourlong tour of the border fence near the city. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the current immigration system is a “mess.”
However, Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott is putting a council together to push back against Trump’s executive orders on enforcement and funding.
“We want to take a little bit of a pause in looking at the executive order, in looking at federal overreach in terms of the Constitution, I think the Fourth and Tenth Amendment in particularly,” Scott told Newsmax. “I want to make sure that we protect our Constitution because it may be the Fourth and the Tenth this time, but it sets precedent. In four years, it could be the Second Amendment and I treasure that one as well.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and NGA chairman, criticized ICE for making arrests in Fairfax, Virginia, and is meeting with Kelly on Sunday.
“We can’t have people driven underground. We do have basic civil liberties we need to protect,” McAuliffe told Newsmax. “We do not want to see people just randomly stopped without any due cause or due process.”
NGA Republican vice chairman, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, is treading carefully in his state with a high immigrant population, even reviewing a Washington state policy barring state agencies from arresting illegal immigrants for no other reason than entering the country illegally.
“I can speak for all of the governors,” Sandoval told Newsmax. “We are paying close attention to what the president is doing with regard to his immigration policies. We’ve had a chance to meet with the secretary of homeland security and I know there is ongoing discussion, particularly with Mexico but across the world.”
The Department of Homeland Security wants companies to begin submitting designs for President Donald Trump’s border wall beginning March 6.
On Feb. 24, the DHS released its notice on FebBizOpps.gov:
The Dept. of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intends on issuing a solicitation in electronic format on or about March 6, 2017 for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico. The procurement will be conducted in two phases, the first requiring vendors to submit a concept paper of their prototype(s) by March 10, 2017, which will result in the evaluation and down select of offerors by March 20, 2017. The second phase will require the down select of phase 1 offerors to submit proposals in response to the full RFP by March 24, 2017, which will include price. Multiple awards are contemplated by mid-April for this effort. An option for additional miles may be included in each contract award.
President Trump promised to begin building the U.S.-Mexico border wall again on Friday during his CPAC speech.
“We have to, to turn things around. The era of empty talk is over. It’s over. Now is the time for action,” he said.
The administration is moving quickly. Trump transition officials also requested that the Obama’s deputies in the Department of Homeland Security ” assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction,” and look into expanding detention capabilities for illegal aliens and aerial surveillance of the U.S.-Mexico border:
In response to the transition team request, U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffers identified more than 400 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, and about the same distance along the U.S.-Canada border, where new fencing could be erected, according to a document seen by Reuters…
One program the transition team asked about, according to the email summary, was Operation Phalanx, an aerial surveillance program that authorizes 1,200 Army National Guard airmen to monitor the southern border for drug trafficking and illegal migration…
Adding 413 miles of fencing on the southwest border would be more expensive, according to the estimate of $11.37 billion, because it would be aimed at keeping pedestrians as well as vehicles from crossing.
The meeting between transition team and DHS officials took place Dec. 5, according to Reuters.
Every single illegal alien in the U.S. is subject to deportation, Trump said in a major policy speech given in Phoenix, Arizona, about two months before his election win. There will be “zero tolerance” for illegal immigration under a Trump administration, he said.
A study released by the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies found that a border wall stopping as little as nine percent of illegal alien border crossers would easily pay for itself and save taxpayers billions of dollars.