White House, DHS Deny Reported Plan to Use Nat'l Guard to Roundup Undocumented Immigrants
NEW YORK - White House officials and the Department of Homeland Security on Friday struck down reports that the Trump administration is considering mobilizing the National Guard in 11 states - not including New York - to round up undocumented immigrants.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer immediately took to Twitter to say the reports were "100% false."
A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson echoed Spicer's response saying, "The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard for immigration enforcement."
The Associated Press says it obtained the draft memo detailing a proposal to call in as many 100,000 troops to carry out immigration enforcement.
"Empowering state and local law enforcement agencies to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law is critical to an effective enforcement strategy," the document said in part.
A Trump administration official says the document was an early draft - an internal document that did not make it to the Homeland Security Secretary for consideration.
The plan reportedly called for military action in 11 states, including as far north as Oregon and as far east as Louisiana.
Although New York is not one of the 11 named states, Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the report during his weekly radio show.
"I think it will create tremendous tension between local law enforcement and the federal government," de Blasio said Friday morning on WNYC. "Police commissioners all over the country have said 'Do not upset the balance that's been set by local law enforcement in working with immigrant communities.'"
If the National Guard plan were implemented, the governors of affected states would have final approval on whether or not troops under their control would participate.
Nearly one half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without documentation live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.
Trump campaigned on a platform of strong crackdowns on illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, as he spends his third straight weekend in Florida, Trump can say he is some getting results in Washington.
Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is the new Environmental Protection Agency administrator, running an agency he's sued repeatedly.
As for Saturday's campaign-style rally in South Carolina, Trump is tapping his campaign coffers to pay for it.
Asked if it's a rally for the 2020 election, a White House spokeswoman says it's "most likely, a campaign rally for America."
Whatever it is, the events are the type Trump clearly enjoys.