After receiving a lot of negative backlash about this, officials now say that no plans are imminent. But, at this point, it’s hard to believe much of anything that comes out of this White House.
The Associated Press is reporting on Friday that they have obtained a White House draft memo proposing using 100,000 National Guard troops to “round up unauthorized immigrants.”
The proposal was written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. And it calls for “unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.”
The AP says,
“Four states that border on Mexico were included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.”
“Governors in the 11 states would have had a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo.”
“According to the draft memo, the militarization effort was to be proactive, specifically empowering Guard troops to solely carry out immigration enforcement, not as an add-on the way local law enforcement is used in the program.”
The Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) prohibits the Guard from acting as civilian law enforcement unless they are “explicitly authorized.” So Governors would have to give the green light to this plan. The proposal wouldn’t nationalize the Guard, but instead keep them state-run.
The draft memo proposes that the Guard would be able “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.”
After a lot of negative reactions to the AP report Friday morning, the White House made a statement claiming the story was false.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the White House press pool,
“There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.” “It is not a White House document.”
It’s hard to tell at this point whether or not the White House is being honest. But the signed memo itself is alarming. And considering how many times Trump talked about deportation task forces on the campaign trail, it’s not a stretch to believe he would try to use the National Guard for that purpose.
The problem is that Trump, Spicer, and many of the other members of this administration lie so much that it’s become difficult to believe much of anything from them. But one thing is clear. Extreme public backlash is stopping at least some of Trump’s radical proposals.