The White House is flatly denying media reports that the Trump Administration is considering using national guard troops as immigration officers to round up illegal aliens.
“There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said of the report, The Hill reported. “That is 100% not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this.”
Spicer continued, “I don’t know what could potentially be out there, but I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested.”
The Associated Press reported on a leaked “draft memo” claiming that up to 100,000 National Guard troops could be used to round up unauthorized immigration. The AP reported the plan would round up illegal aliens living nowhere near the Mexican border. The headline appears to falsely claim “Trump weighs mobilizing Nat Guard for immigration roundups.”
Department of Homeland Security Spokesman David Lapan responded to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas stating, “The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard for immigration enforcement.”
The AP report claims:
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 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 Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.
The AP claims the 18-page January 25 “draft memo,” addressed to Obama holdovers in the CBP, calls for the troops to “perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, and detention of aliens in the United States.”
Breitbart Texas reached out to Texas Governor Greg Abbott for comment on the alleged plans. “The Office of the Governor has not received, much less seen, a memo or request from the White House or Department of Homeland Security regarding the use of Texas National Guard troops for immigration enforcement,” Governor Abbott’s Spokesman John Wittman responded. “The White House has adamantly denied there are efforts underway to mobilize the National Guard for this purpose.”
The governors of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico told the AP they were unaware of the memo.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.