December 16, 2017

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'Steady Stream' of Immigration Announcements Expected from Trump

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WASHINGTON — 

Donald Trump campaigned heavily on immigration issues, making at least 13 promises throughout the election about immigration actions he would take on Day One and, in some cases, in the first hour of his tenure.

In reviewing Trump’s statements throughout the campaign, VOA identified seven main themes to those Day One immigration promises. As of late Monday afternoon, Trump had not carried out any of them.

When asked during a news conference Monday afternoon about three of those issues, White House spokesman Sean Spicer skirted specifics, saying only that a border wall will be built “as soon as possible,” and declining to offer details on when the executive order that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy would be revoked. DACA protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2017.

Answering a reporter about the status of the refugee resettlement program, which Trump had vowed to immediately change, Spicer responded that he didn’t know, and instead deflected the question to the U.S. State Department, which oversees the program. The State Department has not yet responded to VOA’s request for comment on the status of the refugee program, though arrivals continued throughout the weekend.

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, an organization that, like Trump, advocates for more restrictive immigration policies, said he expects a “steady stream of announcements” from the new administration, “some of which are more difficult.”

“For example unwinding certain elements of these policies on criminal alien priorities, enforcing priorities, state and local enforcement agreements can take some time …,” he told VOA. “But things like the wall and the vetting order, for example, should come very quickly.”

FILE – Community activists rally during an event on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, DAPA in downtown Los Angeles, California, Feb. 17, 2015.

Between Trump’s missed initial deadlines and scant details from the White House spokesman Monday, there is little clarity about when any of the immigration policy changes may come.

That uncertainty makes people like Juan Escalante, a DACA recipient, skittish about his future in the United States.

Speaking at a public event Monday afternoon on Capitol Hill, Escalante told the audience that he does not have any confidence that the White House

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