Updates on national politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON
NATION POLITICS ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

This is our look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington:

Immigration White House

'We will build the wall!': Trump to order construction on border and may clamp down on refugee admissions

 (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Donald Trump will launch his long-promised effort to build a "big, beautiful" border wall Wednesday, likely diverting funds from existing federal programs to jump-start construction.

Trump previewed his executive action Tuesday night, tweeting : "Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!"

His advisors are also presenting plans to punish so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with immigration officials, as well as orders that would block Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and cut the number of refugees from countries "compromised by terrorism."

Trump built his campaign largely on a call for stricter immigration enforcement, his central promise a vow to build the border wall. Though it evoked cheers from his supporters at campaign rallies, his divisive rhetoric stoked fears among immigrants.

Trump plans to speak to employees at the Department of Homeland Security's headquarters in Washington on Wednesday afternoon. He may announce a new policy that limits grant funding to sanctuary cities.

Also, among the actions being considered are restricting admissions of refugees and some visa applicants from countries where the U.S. has counter-terrorism concerns, such as Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump administration officials were still deciding on the exact timing for announcing the new policies.

Constructing a wall to cover the entire expanse of the 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico, as Trump has promised, will cost tens of billions of dollars, according to estimates. Trump has insisted Mexico would pay for the wall, though Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has said his country would never foot the bill. He is scheduled to visit the White House next week to discuss trade, another Trump priority.

Short of that plan, fully funding the wall would require approval from Congress.

In the meantime, the Homeland Security budget includes about $175 million set aside for upgrading Border Patrol buildings and adding new equipment, which along with other funds could be diverted quickly to start construction on a wall.

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