In what would likely be an unprecedented move, the Trump administration is looking at utilizing the National Guard for illegal immigrant roundups in border and non-border states.
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.
Governors having the choice is key. Many will face a major backlash if they approve.
Another question is whether or not Natl. Guard personnel is prepared for this kind of work:
…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.
More on this to come for sure.
UPDATE: The White House is denying the story:
So, the AP reports that DHS wrote the memo
And the WH says that the memo is false?
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) February 17, 2017
Homeland Security person is saying the story is false as well:
Homeland Security spokeswoman tells NBC News: "That AP story about the National Guard is incorrect. It's not true."
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 17, 2017