Trump sets sights on border wall, immigration policy

Building the Mexico wall

This week, President Trump has started to fulfill popular promises, and he will act on his campaign staple Wednesday to “build a great, great wall” on the Southern border with Mexico, reports CBS News correspondent Major Garrett.

Financing for the U.S.-Mexico border wall remains an unresolved question. Federal law since 2006 authorizes construction of a physical barrier, but Congress has never funded it.

Another priority this week is limiting refugee immigration from countries with a high rate of terrorism.

“I call it extreme vetting. Right?” Mr. Trump said campaigning in Phoenix in August.

Details on methods and timing are still developing.

The president will not go as far as his incendiary campaign pledge for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

At the White House Tuesday, the president gave conditional approval to two pipeline projects blocked by the Obama administration. New memoranda greenlight the Keystone XL pipeline project from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska, and the Dakota Access Pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois.

Environmentalists sought to stop both.

“We’re going to renegotiate some of the terms,” the president said Tuesday.

Mr. Trump said he wants U.S. steel companies added to the mix.

“If we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States,” Mr. Trump said.

The president also met with CEOs of America’s largest automakers - GM, Ford and Chrysler. He pledged to limit environmental regulations that he said hobble manufacturing.

“I am to a large extent an environmentalist. I believe in it, but it’s out of control,” he told the automakers.

Amid public concern about the new administration’s environmental policies, the White House sent a memo to the EPA Tuesday ordering a media blackout until the administration gives “further direction” -- including no social media, no blog posts, and a careful screening of incoming media requests. 

The EPA defended the action by the administration, calling “a fresh look at public affairs common practice for any new administration”

Also on Tuesday, the president accepted an invitationfrom House Speaker Paul Ryan to speak to a joint session of Congress on February 28th.