President Trump signed a trio of executive orders he said are aimed at cracking down on crime, though none of them appear as though they'll have an immediate impact on law enforcement.
"I'm signing three executive actions today designed to restore safety in America," Trump announced from the Oval Office as he swore in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying the first would "Break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth."
The others create a task force on reducing violent crime and instruct Sessions to implement a plan to stop crime against law enforcement officers.
"A new era of justice begins and it begins right now," Trump said.
The White House, as has become habit, didn't put out the text of the orders until hours after he signed them — two hours in this case. The orders themselves are short in length and on specifics, though it appears all three are fairly toothless in terms of how much they’ll change things on their own. Sessions’ ascension to attorney general will undoubtedly create a massive change in the DOJ’s focus on law enforcement and civil rights, however.
The executive order targeting cartels orders law enforcement to “give a high priority and devote sufficient resources to efforts to identify, interdict, disrupt, and dismantle transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations.”
The only implementation aspects of that order refer back to an existing interagency Threat Mitigation Working Group that was created under President Obama to help coordinate different government agencies’ working together.
The second orders create a task force to make future recommendations on reducing crime, while the third calls for DOJ officials to “develop a strategy” to use current federal laws “to prosecute individuals who commit or attempt to commit crimes of violence” against police officers.
Trump made border issues and crime central parts of his presidential campaign and has made lofty promises about improving border security with a wall and lowering crime rates since he became president.