NEW YORK—President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order Thursday to make the nation’s police force more “tough” on crime, banning “officers, agents, or employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Department (of) Transportation, and (the) Department of Defense from discriminating against anyone based on race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, citizenship, or any other basis.”
The order also bans federal contractors from using race, national or ethnic origin, age or marital status as a factor in employment decisions and prohibits federal agencies from using the phrase “minority” or “people of color” as a basis for hiring or promotions.
The order, which Trump signed Thursday morning in the Oval Office, was one of a series of measures he announced during the campaign aimed at curbing crime in the country.
The order has the support of a wide range of Democratic and Republican lawmakers, with a majority of the public in favor.
The law is the latest of a wave of policies aimed at fighting crime that have been adopted by Trump since his election in November.
The executive order also expands the definition of “national security” to include everything from the internet and mobile devices to military installations, to the financial sector and “any other area that poses a significant threat to the national security of the United States.”
It also gives the president authority to order the creation of “special units” of federal agents to focus on certain groups of people, including undocumented immigrants.
It allows for the “immediate deployment of agents to a federal building, including the White House.”
Trump also announced he was directing the Defense Department to create a new task force to examine the national interest.
“It is time for us to get tough on crime and our local police officers,” he said.
“They need to be treated with respect, not threatened or intimidated.”
The administration’s executive order is not the first to target police departments and their employees.
The Justice Department last year sued to block a measure aimed at making it easier for police departments to track and track down criminals.
In the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016, President Donald Trump issued a directive to reduce gun violence, saying he wanted the U.S. to be the “world’s safest country in the world.”
The order created a task force led by a former Obama administration official, Michael Anton, that he said would help law enforcement identify and track the people behind violent crimes.
In a separate statement, Trump said his order would target “criminals who threaten our country and our communities” by targeting the gangs, drug cartels and other “violent and criminal groups that pose a threat to our communities and our country.”
He also said he wanted to “take steps to strengthen the rule of law” and restore federal civil rights to “our citizens.”