A leaked Department of Homeland Security memo caused an uproar Friday after plans to use the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants were made public. The memo detailed a plan in which the National Guard in 11 different states would be used to round up those living in the U.S. illegally.
The Trump Administration says the plan was never seriously being considered, and officials indicate that DHS secretary John Kelly never saw or approved the memo. The document was dated Jan. 25, and has since been discarded, said DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.
“The department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard,” Christensen said in a statement
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer sought to distance the president from the memo, saying that the plan was created off premises at a separate agency, and that the president had not considered requesting the mobilization of the various states’ National Guard units.
“That is 100 percent not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this,” Spicer said. “There is no effort at all to round up, to use the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants. . . . I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted.”
Reporters asked the White House to comment on the story before publication, but no one returned their request with a statement.
The 11 states outlined in the memo included California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. If the president were ever to try to implement a plan involving immigration and the National Guard, it would be up to the governors of each state to comply or not.
Many immigrant advocates were shocked by the memo, and say that using the National Guard is an an unneeded, unorthodox scare tactic. The executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, Marielena Hincapié, said the actions of the Trump administration are “deeply troubling — we believe unlawful.”
“There are clear signs that this administration is, in fact, going on a manhunt,” said Hincapié.
Whether you want to call it a manhunt or not, the Trump administration has certainly has made going after illegal immigrants a top priority, regardless of if the National Guard becomes involved.
[AP] [USA Today] [The Daily Dot] [Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via NBC Bay Area]