The White House has said that reports claiming Donald Trump is considering using 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants in 11 states are “100% false”.
The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration was considering mobilizing the National Guard to round up immigrants living in the US illegally.
According to a draft memo obtained by AP, millions of unauthorised citizens could be affected by the plan who live nowhere near the Mexican border.
The memo was written by homeland security secretary John Kelly and addressed to acting heads of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Customs and Border Protection.
The White House has called agency’s report “false,” but did not deny the existence of the memo.
BREAKING NEWS: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) 17 February 2017
What the AP called “unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement” would affect locations as far north as Portland, Oregon and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana, according to the 11-page document, purportedly written by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
The proposal would four states bordering on Mexico – Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas – as well as the seven neighboring states of Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah. Governors in the eleven states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate in the round-up, according to AP.
The White House responded to the news with only one word: “False,” according to Reuters.
— Justin Gray (@grayjustin) 17 February 2017
“This is not true,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted about the AP report, adding that Homeland Security confirmed it as “100 percent false.”
This is not true. DHS also confirms it is 100% false https://t.co/MFIJci7XaU
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) 17 February 2017
According to AP, the draft memo was dated January 25 – the day President Donald Trump issued an executive order “enhancing public safety in the interior of the United States” – and has been circulating among Homeland Security staff for the past two weeks. It is reportedly addressed to the acting chiefs of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.
The draft memo says the mobilized National Guard troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program and authorized “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.”
AP posted a photocopy of the draft memo shortly before 12:30pm Eastern Time on Friday. A TIME magazine reporter posted a PDF shortly after noon.
— Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) 17 February 2017
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