LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) -- Several Southland and California elected officials criticized at President Donald Trump's executive actions calling for construction of a wall along the Mexican border and slashing funding for so-called "sanctuary" cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Trump signed two executive orders in keeping with campaign promises to boost border security and crack down on immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
The president signed the two orders Wednesday during a ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security after honoring the department's newly confirmed secretary, retired Gen. John Kelly.
The executive orders jump-start construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, one of his signature campaign promises, and strip funding for so-called sanctuary cities, which don't arrest or detain immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
"These are serious times that call for serious solutions," Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles, said in a statement. "Yes, border security is a crucial pillar of comprehensive immigration reform, but a huge wall won't make us any safer, morally upright, reduce the deficit or energize our economy.
While the construction of a border wall was a linchpin of Trump's presidential campaign, he has tried to persuade taxpayers that Mexico will ultimately pay for the project - a claim Mexican leaders have repeatedly denied.
"I'm just telling you there will be a payment," Trump said in an interview with ABC News. "It will be in a form -- perhaps a complicated form. And you have to understand what I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico."
The move coincided with the first meeting of a Los Angeles City Council committee on immigrant affairs set for Wednesday night, which was expected to consider a reaffirmation of Los Angeles Police Department Special Order 40, which prevents officers from stopping people solely to question them on their immigration status.
Immigration rights advocates are expected to hold a vigil at Los Angeles City Hall later this afternoon in response to Trump's executive order.
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