The White House is denying a report by the Associated Press published today (February 17) about an 11-page draft memo it obtained that lays out the administration’s plan to send as many as 100,000 National Guard troops into neighborhoods to round up undocumented immigrants.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded that the report is false. “There is no effort to do what is potentially suggested,” he said, according to the AP. He claimed the memo is “not a White House document” and that it is “100 percent not true.” Still, Spicer did not outright deny that the memo existed.
The memo, which the AP says was written by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, calls for troops to head into 11 states including Louisiana and Oregon, as well as areas in California and Texas along the Mexican border. State governors could opt out by using their own troops, the document states.
The AP writes:
Also dated Jan. 25, 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.
If implemented, the impact could have been significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.
People quickly turned to Twitter to respond to both the report and Spencer’s comment:
I have already been contacted by several current members of the National Guard who said they would be courtmarshaled before obeying this. https://t.co/3s9IGg6igp
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 17, 2017
Trump: Can I deploy 100,000 National Guard members to round up immigrants?
Advisor: I don’t know can you?
Trump: Sorry, may I?
— Josh Rosen (@JoshRosen1) February 17, 2017
Regarding National Guard story/denial, two problems with this admin: 1) They lie constantly, 2) They’ve convinced us they might do anything
— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) February 17, 2017
For those saying the immigration roundup is just a draft memo, well, the #MuslimBan was once a “draft” memo. Stay alert.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) February 17, 2017
Read the full draft memo the AP obtained here.