There is a lot of conflicting information floating around about what the Trump administration plans to do to curb illegal immigration into the United States.
Besides a controversial planned border wall, much of the debate has been centered around immigrants already living in the United States without a legal immigration status.
Trump has previously called for deportations, and this month, federal agents did begin the process of deporting some illegal immigrants who had criminal records in the United States.
According to an Associated Press report this morning, the Trump administration might be considering even more aggressive means in the deportation of illegal immigrants – using the National Guard to act as deputized immigration agents.
According to the AP report:
The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.
The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.
Four states that border on Mexico are 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 a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.
While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.
The memo was allegedly written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and was distributed to the heads of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agencies.
The memo does note that governors in the proposed states would ultimately maintain their control over the National Guard troops and would have the final say on whether or not their troops participated in the mission.
Immediately after the report was issued, the White House responded and denied the claims that it was seriously considering such action:
“That is 100% not true,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters. “It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this. … There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.”
“I don’t know what could potentially be out there, but I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested,” he said.