The Trump administration on Friday denied an Associated Press report that it is considering deploying 100,000 National Guardsmen to round up millions of unauthorized immigrants, though it confirmed the existence of a “very early, pre-decisional draft” that was never seriously considered by the U.S. Homeland Security Department.
“The department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard,” Homeland Security Department spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said.
Citing a draft memo it obtained, the AP reported Friday that the Trump administration is considering militarizing immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. Four states that border on Mexico, according to the AP, are included in the proposal – California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four – Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The AP did not mention Georgia in its report.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Nathan Deal said the governor’s office had not received a copy of the memo. The Georgia National Guard has not received any word about the memo from the Trump administration, said Capt. William Carraway, a spokesman for the Guard.
President Donald Trump campaigned hard on cracking down on illegal immigration. He signed a pair of executive orders last month for building a new wall on the southwest border, hiring 10,000 additional immigration enforcement officers and stripping federal funding from municipalities that don’t fully cooperate with deportation authorities.
One of the orders significantly widens the net for unauthorized immigrants. For example, it not only prioritizes the deportation of convicted criminals but people whose charges have not been adjudicated and others who “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.” Further, it zeroes in on people who have engaged in fraud, abused public benefits or are deemed by immigration officers to be a risk to public safety or national security.
Last week, federal authorities arrested more than 680 unauthorized immigrants, including 87 in Georgia, as part of a nationwide operation focusing on gang members and criminals who pose public safety threats as well as others who are violating the nation’s immigration laws. Scores of activists demonstrated against those arrests Thursday in front of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s downtown Atlanta offices.