A report has emerged from the Department of Homeland Security suggesting that as many as 100,000 National Guard troops will be mobilized in a deportation effort.
The Associated Press first reported through its Twitter account that the Trump administration was considering asking several states to use their National Guard forces to assist in the deportations of immigrants in the country illegally. A memo was obtained by AP that contained the suggested action. Some have suggested it was a draft memo, rather than a final directive.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied the validity of the memo in a meeting with the press Feb. 17.
“That is 100 percent not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this,” Spicer told reporters aboard Air Force One according to the Daily Mail. “There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.”
The memo obtained by AP was soon released on its Twitter account after Spicer’s comments. The 11-page memo, dated Jan. 25, expresses an intent to use the National Guard to forcibly remove immigrants in the country illegally. It also described the necessity for construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The memo was marked from Director of Homeland Security John Kelly and sent to various directors involved in immigration, including Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The memo suggests using National Guard forces in 11 states. The four states that border Mexico were included: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Also included were seven other states contiguous to those four: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah. Governors in each state would have the option to allocate National Guard troops or not, according to the report.
Spicer conceded that while the report may have from DHS, it was not a White House document. He also said, “I don't know what could potentially be out there” adding, “I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested,” according to the Daily Mail.
Nearly half of the 11.1 million people living in the U.S. illegally live in those 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.
Sources: Daily Mail, AP/Twitter, AP / Photo credit: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class George Sisting/Wikimedia Commons