FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Trump's Crime Task Force Will Take on Drug Cartels and More

In a series of executive orders issued this morning by the White House, President Trump is targeting criminals both at home and internationally. Each of the three orders has a different focus. One executive order focuses on the safety of law enforcement officials across the country, one focuses on the public’s general safety from crime, and the last focuses on fighting transnational criminal organizations.

This last executive order of the three passed today simply instructs federal agencies to strengthen the enforcement of federal law. This seems counter to what Trump’s platform has been pushing for when it comes to the elimination of federal regulations that result in white collar business, compliance, and financial crimes. The stated purpose of this executive order, which basically is just directing federal agencies to do what they are already tasked with doing, is to “thwart transnational criminal organizations.” But that order also asks federal agencies to make transnational criminal organizations a high priority.

Trump’s Crime Task Force

Despite the fact that crime has actually been decreasing over the last few decades, President Trump and attorney general Jeff Sessions claimed that crime is on the rise when making statements related to these new EOs. Nevertheless, developing policies to reduce crime can still have a positive effect, and these EOs task groups with trying to figure out how to reduce crime.

In the order that is about the public’s safety from crime generally, Trump specifically establishes a new task force to evaluate crime data and current laws in order to propose new legislation and policies to curb criminal activity and increase public safety.

However, in the EO to combat transnational criminal organizations, Trump is utilizing the Threat Mitigation Working Group, an already existing interagency group, as the task force that will evaluate current data and laws to see where improvements can be made. Additionally, this EO demands federal law enforcement concurrently increase their efforts to extradite, and deport, foreign criminals, as well as focus on transnational crime organizations engaged in human trafficking, drug smuggling, financial crimes, cybercrimes, fraud, corruption, and more.

Law Enforcement Officer Safety

While attempting to create new policy to strengthen enforcement of anti-crime laws, one of today’s executive orders focused on providing additional protections for law enforcement officers, not just federally, but also on the state, local and tribal levels. While it is not completely clear what the end result will be, it is speculated that law enforcement officers will receive more immunity from civil liability than they already have. Also, the order itself calls for new federal laws designed to prevent violence against law enforcement officers.

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