The Department of Homeland Security has written a draft memo proposing the mobilization of up to 100,000 National Guard troops in an effort to capture unauthorized immigrants, The Associated Press reported Friday.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer strongly denied that the Trump administration is considering such a deployment and the document does not appear to have come from the White House. A Department of Homeland Security official told reporter Dorey Scheimer that the memo was "a very early, pre-decisional draft … and was never seriously considered by the Department." Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan told Axios that The Associated Press' earlier report that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly authored the memo is incorrect.
"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," AP writes. "If the proposal is implemented, governors in the affected states would have final approval on whether troops under their control participate." AP reports the memo has been circulating among DHS staff for the last two weeks, and that neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security responded to requests for comment before publication.
During his campaign, Trump proposed deporting the 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States, at one point floating the vague idea of a "special deportation task force." "I can't even begin to picture how we would deport 11 million people in a few years where we don't have a police state, where the police can't break down your door at will and take you away without a warrant," former President George W. Bush's secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, told The New York Times last year.
In January, President Trump ordered the hiring of 10,000 federal immigration agents and 5,000 Border Patrol agents. Politico estimates that the 10,000 ICE agents alone could cost $3.9 billion annually.