Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday that directs federal agencies to begin immediately constructing a wall along the southern border with Mexico.
The order signed by Trump directs federal officials to create a new “Department of Homeland Security” that would focus on the “security, security of the border” and “security of our people.”
The Department of Homeland Safety would also be created to handle immigration enforcement and the detention of illegal immigrants.
The White House said in a statement that the order “will ensure the security of our borders and the safety of our nation’s citizens.”
It was not immediately clear how Trump would use the department’s new authority.
The president signed the order while speaking to reporters at the White House.
Trump has promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration and to stop the flow of drugs and weapons across the border.
He has repeatedly called for Mexico to pay for the wall, and the country’s President has said he will not do so.
Mexico has repeatedly said it will not pay for such a wall.