US eyes mobilizing 100,000 National Guard to round up illegal immigrants: report
Stephen Morton (Getty/AFP/File)
The US government is considering the mobilization of up to 100,000 troops with the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants, the Associated Press reports.
AP obtained a copy of an 11-page document which outlines a proposal currently being considered by the Trump administration to crack down on authorized immigrants in 11 states.
According to the report, efforts outlined in the memo written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly focus on the western half of the US, stretching north to Portland, Oregon and east to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Four states along the Mexico border- California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas- are included, as well as Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
The mobilization of the National Guard is to act in support of an executive order that President Donald Trump signed on January 25 focusing on immigration and border security.
The text of the document states that the troops will be authorized "to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States," however, the governors of the states in question will have the final say over whether they want their troops to participate.
AP said that the document had been circulated through the Department of Homeland Security over the past two weeks, and cited staffers in a number of different offices as saying that discussions had been held as recently as Friday.
The White House quickly denied the report, with Spokesman Sean Spicer telling reporters that the report "is 100 percent not true."
"It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this," he continued, "There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants."
It “is not a White House document,” he added.
General Joseph L. Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, issued a brief denial as part of a previously scheduled live Q&A session on his Facebook page.
"We don't know anything about where this report is coming from," he wrote.
While the National Guard has been enlisted in the past to aid operations along the US-Mexico border, a mobilization of this size is unprecedented, and has sparked backlash on social media with many calling the US a military state and comparing the National Guard to the Nazi Gestapo.
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