So far it’s little more than an “official rumor” being downplayed by the Trump White House, but I’d keep a wary eye on this.
The Associated Press this afternoon reported that the Trump gang has considered calling out the National Guard to round up people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally for deportation. The good news is that the current occupiers of the White House, and more importantly Homeland Security, have both denied the claim. In other words, it probably won’t happen — but I’d keep a wary eye on the situation anyway.
There’s little doubt that the Trump family has seriously considered such a move.
Garance Burke’s AP report is based on an 11-page draft memo that reportedly has been circulating around DHS for two weeks. According to the report, as many as 100,000 troops could be involved, who 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.” The round ups would take place in the four states that share a border with Mexico, as well as all states that border those states — a total of 11 states. This would place National Guard troops in cities as far north as Portland, Oregon and as far east as New Orleans.
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spice, today completely denied any White House involvement in the plan, and the AP reports that “[a] DHS official described the document as a very early draft that was not seriously considered and never brought to the secretary for approval.”
That’s good news.
If Trump were to take such actions, there’s not much evidence he’d be able to pull it off, which is probably why the administration is now distancing itself from the idea, or at least putting it on hold for the time being. The Huffington Post reached out to the governors in all 11 states and found little support, even from Republican governors:
“I would have concerns about the utilization of National Guard resources for immigration enforcement with the current deployment responsibilities our guardsmen have overseas,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison (R) said. “During my time at Homeland Security, we utilized National Guard partnerships for specific responsibilities along the border, so the concept is fine, but it’s a matter of resources. In Arkansas, I believe it would be too much of a strain on our National Guard personnel.”
Hutchison served as undersecretary for border and transportation security when the Department of Homeland Security was formed under President George W. Bush.
“While we cannot speculate as to what may be requested via official channels in the future, we have serious constitutional concerns about activating the National Guard to provide the mentioned services and the potential financial impacts of doing so,” the office of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said.
It’s not impossible that this “plan” has been purposefully leaked to the media, as a way of running the idea up the flag to see how Trump’s rank and file react. Don’t be too surprised if the administration doesn’t revive the idea in the future. If This Be Treason will be keeping a close eye on the situation and will publish updates as necessary.
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