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In this Feb. 24, 2015, file photo, members of the National Guard patrol along the Rio Grande at the Texas-Mexico border in Rio Grande City, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)In this Feb. 24, 2015, file photo, members of the National Guard patrol along the Rio Grande at the Texas-Mexico border in Rio Grande City, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

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.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the AP report was "100 percent not true" and "irresponsible."

"There is no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants," he said.

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 is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed on Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.

Also dated on Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized "to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States." It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

Requests to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal were not answered.

The draft document has circulated among DHS staff over the last two weeks. As recently as Friday, staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway.

If implemented, the impact could be significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.

Use of National Guard troops would greatly increase the number of immigrants targeted in one of Trump's executive orders last month, which expanded the definition of who could be considered a criminal and therefore a potential target for deportation. That order also allows immigration agents to prioritize removing anyone who has "committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense."

Under current rules, even if the proposal is implemented, there would not be immediate mass deportations. Those with existing deportation orders could be sent back to their countries of origin without additional court proceedings. But deportation orders generally would be needed for most other unauthorized immigrants.

The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control.

Spokespeople for the governors of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico said they were unaware of the proposal, and either declined to comment or said it was premature to discuss whether they would participate. The other three states did not immediately respond to the AP.

The proposal would extend the federal-local partnership program that President Barack Obama's administration began scaling back in 2012 to address complaints that it promoted racial profiling.

The 287(g) program, which Trump included in his immigration executive order, gives local police, sheriff's deputies and state troopers the authority to assist in the detection of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally as a regular part of their law enforcement duties on the streets and in jails.

The draft memo also mentions other items included in Trump's executive order, including the hiring of an additional 5,000 border agents, which needs financing from Congress, and his campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The signed order contained no mention of the possible use of state National Guard troops.

According to the draft memo, the militarization effort would 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.

Allowing Guard troops to operate inside non-border states also would go far beyond past deployments.

In addition to responding to natural or man-made disasters or for military protection of the population or critical infrastructure, state Guard forces have been used to assist with immigration-related tasks on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the construction of fences.

In the mid-2000s, President George W. Bush twice deployed Guard troops on the border to focus on non-law enforcement duties to help augment the Border Patrol as it bolstered its ranks. And in 2010, then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced a border security plan that included Guard reconnaissance, aerial patrolling and military exercises.

In July 2014, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border when the surge of migrant children fleeing violence in Central America overwhelmed U.S. officials responsible for their care. The Guard troops' stated role on the border at the time was to provide extra sets of eyes but not make arrests.

Bush initiated the federal 287(g) program—named for a section of a 1996 immigration law—to allow specially trained local law enforcement officials to participate in immigration enforcement on the streets and check whether people held in local jails were in the country illegally. ICE trained and certified roughly 1,600 officers to carry out those checks from 2006 to 2015.

The memo describes the program as a "highly successful force multiplier" that identified more than 402,000 "removable aliens."

But federal watchdogs were critical of how DHS ran the program, saying it was poorly supervised and provided insufficient training to officers, including on civil rights law. Obama phased out all the arrest power agreements in 2013 to instead focus on deporting recent border crossers and immigrants in the country illegally who posed a safety or national security threat.

Trump's immigration strategy emerges as detentions at the nation's southern border are down significantly from levels seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Last year, the arrest tally was the fifth-lowest since 1972. Deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally also increased under the Obama administration, though Republicans criticized Obama for setting prosecution guidelines that spared some groups from the threat of deportation, including those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Last week, ICE officers arrested more than 680 people around the country in what Kelly said were routine, targeted operations; advocates called the actions stepped-up enforcement under Trump.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 11:57 to include the reaction of White House spokesperson Sean Spicer.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
JR Cosgrove
7 years 2 months ago

Is this fake news?

There are several stories of the White House denying it. The article actually says the White House denies it. So why was it published here. Why publish fake news.?

If the story changed then that would be appropriate to publish what the government says it is considering on doing but as of now they say they are not considering it. It is common for departments to ask for a range of possible recommendation from personnel but most never get much beyond the "what if" stage and are rejected. So this may be one of those occasions.

John Thomas
7 years 2 months ago

So we should take what the White House says without ever questioning it? As to the "fake news" portion - here's the actual document. Items relevant to the National Guard are on page 3. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3467508-Trump-National-Guard-Draft-Memo.html

JR Cosgrove
7 years 2 months ago

It's fake news. Even if the document exists, the story is still fake news. The headline above says

Trump considers using National Guard troops in immigration roundups

There is no evidence currently that Trump knew about it let alone ok'd it. Or that anyone seriously planned to do this. So the headline is false and very misleading. This may change with new information.

Organization often have documents developed for various options and none of them may ever be implemented or get out of someone's drawer. The date on the document indicates that Kelly had been there only a couple days.

Now, it may turn out that this was considered and was under review, considered and rejected, never really considered, or just one of many options that people developed. The fact that the document exists does not tell one how serious a proposal this was.

The military has numerous contingency plans that can be implemented quickly if thought necessary. So the fact that such a document exist is nothing unusual.

From a news story this afternoon.

“The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard,” said Gillian Christensen, the acting press secretary for DHS.
A DHS official told The Daily Beast that the memo the AP cited was an early, pre-decisional draft, that Kelly never approved it, and that the department as a whole never seriously considered it.


Stuart Meisenzahl
7 years 2 months ago

This is not a memo considering the use of 100,000 Nat Guardsmen for immigrant roundups!

It directs people "to engage" with various state and local official about entering into "287 agreements" to deputize both law enforcement and National Guard ( requires the Governor). IT IS ONLY BY AN ACTUAL AGREEMENT WITH THOSE AUTHORITIES....A 287 Agreement that requires mutual agreement before any action could happen. This memo neither specifies 100,000 Guardsmen nor does it direct their use.
At the top of page 3 it says the President has asked directed the Dept heads to "identify and quantify all sources" that "might be used". .....as noted that would includes all state and local police under city and county control and state police and Guardsmen under the Governors' control..
To the extent there is a memo "considering THE USE of 100,000 Guardsmen for a round up" it is not this memo.
As to the shock value of the news story (and its flamingly precise 100,000 number) it would also be well to note that both President Bush and President Obama Administrations entered into 287 Agreements , in each case deputizing local and state police and Guardsmen to enforce Federal Immigration law. President Obama then cut back on the use of local police (See Sheriff Joe Arpaio). There were no flaming headlines when it actually occurred ! But now we get flaming headlines when someone allegedly investigates the potential use of such forces or perhaps even recommends it. Go figure!

I do not suggest you take what the White House says without questioning it.....I do suggest to you that these days it is essential to do the same with news sources.
In both cases it is unfortunate but necessary. These days you need to read and listen to multiple sites to even begin to get a balanced view. Personally as soon as I find information that appeals to/ confirms some inclination or bias I have, I go and find the contrary viewpoint to get perspective.
News is Fake when the a site rushes to publish information it has not vetted in any accepted traditional fashion.....single sourced information is frequently used and it is rushed to publication to get "a news edge on the competition. In this case it was incumbent on the original publishing site to check with the White House before publication and certainly to get a second source ......this was not just a leaked memo, it came with some undocumented commentary about 100,000 Guardsmen and Roundup none of which is in the memo. More accurate reporting would have been that"some in the administration are urging consideration of state and local police and National Guardsmen to supplement the ICE operations, but no decision has been made. The White House said it has rejected any suggestion of use of Guardsmen or that any "round up" is being considered"
AMERICA MAGAZINE doubles down in its own abuse of this story....not because it doesn't accurately report the White House denial of any action but because it's headline says "TRUMP CONSIDERS USE....." when it is memo signed by General Kelley not Trump The headline further misleads because it says "...USE FOR IMMIGRATION ROUNDUPS". Nowhere does the Kelley memo talk about "immigration roundups"! But the headline fits the rest of the narrative AMERICA Ediors have been pushing in numerous articles and headlines.

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