Mass im­mi­gra­tion roundup may in­volve Na­tional Guard: re­port

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - GARANCE BURKE

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is con­sid­er­ing a pro­posal to mo­bi­lize as many as 100,000 Na­tional Guard troops to round up unau­tho­rized im­mi­grants, in­clud­ing mil­lions living nowhere near the Mex­ico bor­der, ac­cord­ing to a draft memo ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

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, La.

Four states that bor­der on Mex­ico 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.

White House spokesper­son Sean Spicer said the AP re­port was “100 per cent not true” and “ir­re­spon­si­ble.” “There is no ef­fort at all to uti­lize the Na­tional Guard to round up unau­tho­rized im­mi­grants,” he said.

Gov­er­nors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops par­tic­i­pate, ac­cord­ing to the memo, writ­ten by U.S. Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John Kelly, a re­tired four-star Marine gen­eral.

While Na­tional Guard per­son­nel have been used to as­sist with im­mi­gra­tion-re­lated mis­sions on the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der be­fore, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo is ad­dressed to the then-act­ing heads of U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment and U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion. It would serve as guid­ance to im­ple­ment the wide-rang­ing ex­ec­u­tive or­der on im­mi­gra­tion and bor­der se­cu­rity that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are rou­tinely is­sued to sup­ple­ment ex­ec­u­tive or­ders.

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.

Re­quests to the White House and the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity for com­ment and a sta­tus re­port on the pro­posal were not an­swered.

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