The Associated Press says it has obtained a draft plan from the Trump administration to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to arrest illegal aliens for deportation.
The Trump administration’s comment?
The story, nevertheless, was issued by the AP, which explained it obtained an 11-page document that “calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.”
The AP said that if “the proposal is implemented governors in the affected states would have final approval whether troops under their control participate.”
However, Reuters reported, the White House responded to the news with only one word: “False.”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted, “This is not true.” He added DHS “confirmed it as ‘100 percent false.'”
The document AP quoted, purportedly from DHS Secretary John Kelly, said the plan would involve Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, which share a border with Mexico. It then claimed seven more states would be involved: Colorado, Arkansas, Nevada, Louisiana, Utah, Oregon and Oklahoma.
AP said the Jan. 25 memo had been circulating among DHS staff.
The AP said it had asked for confirmation before publishing its report. The statement came as Spicer was preparing to travel with President Trump on Friday.
“That is 100 percent not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this,” he said. “There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants. I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted.”
The document reported by AP, he said, “is not a White House document.”
Despite the White House denials, the AP maintained its claim that the Trump administration “is considering mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”
While Trump campaigned on crackdowns on illegal aliens, and at that time called for a “deportation force,” the idea was rejected by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
In recent days, the nation’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been conducting routine enforcement raids in various locations.
On Thursday, activists protesting Trump’s effort to enforce immigration law carried out a “Day Without Immigrants” protest in which immigrants were to stay home from work or school.
In Denver, some parents left work to take lunch to their children in public schools when the lunchroom workers took part in the protest.
The AP cited a 2006 move by President George W. Bush to have National Guard troops help with border enforcement. Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a similar move in 2014.
Trump’s existing executive order on the illegal immigration states: “Aliens who illegally enter the United States without inspection or admission present a significant threat to national security and public safety. Such aliens have not been identified or inspected by federal immigration officers to determine their admissibility to the United States. The recent surge of illegal immigration at the southern border with Mexico has placed a significant strain on federal resources and overwhelmed agencies charged with border security and immigration enforcement, as well as the local communities into which many of the aliens are placed.”
The order includes construction of a border wall as well as detention facilities for those who violate U.S. law.