Feb 17, 2017

Trump considers sending in 100,000 TROOPS to round up illegal immigrants

White House press secretary Sean Spicer forcefully denied on Friday that the Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border.

'That is 100 per cent not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this,' Spicer told reporters aboard the Marine One helicopter.

'There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.'

An 11-page document seen by The Associated Press calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Spicer insisted that 'It is not a White House document' but didn't address whether it may have come from the Department of Homeland Security. He also conceded that 'I don't know what could potentially be out there' but added that 'I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested.'

Trump's spokesman did not say the idea hasn't been considered. A White House aide confirmed to DailyMail.com Friday morning that the idea 'has been discussed,' but wouldn't say whether a plan has been formalized or recommended to the president.

DailyMail.com's White House source said the idea is to hasten the removal from the U.S. of 'criminal aliens' like those Trump railed against during one campaign stop after another last year.

An executive order the president signed this month greatly expands that group and may include people whose only 'crime' was sneaking across the border.

Spicer tweeted before boarding Air Force One on Friday that the AP report 'is not true. DHS also confirms it is 100% false.' He was responding to an Associated Press tweet that said the draft memo 'shows Trump considering mobilizing the National Guard.'

He didn't provide evidence that DHS has denied the report. A spokesman for that agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Four states that border on Mexico are reportedly 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.

Also dated 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 illegal 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 illegal 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.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4235164/Trump-weighs-mobilizing-Nat-Guard-immigration-roundups.html

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