In a demonstration of what President Donald Trump mentioned in his press conference this week, the Associated Press is eating crow today over claims that the President considered using 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants.
The Daily Beast reports:
The Department of Homeland Security is roundly condemning an Associated Press story that broke Friday morning about considering the use of the National Guard to "round up" undocumented immigrants. The DHS says that isn't true, and—contra the AP's reporting—that DHS Secretary John Kelly didn't write the draft memo.
"The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard," said Gillian Christensen, the acting press secretary for DHS.
A DHS official told The Daily Beast that the memo the AP cited was an early, pre-decisional draft, that Kelly never approved it, and that the department as a whole never seriously considered it.
The AP reported that the draft memo suggested using National Guard troops to "to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States."
The AP also reported that Kelly wrote the memo, but Christensen told The Daily Beast that that is "absolutely incorrect."
The White House immediately dismissed the story, as well. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted, "Not true. 100% false."
Not true. 100% false https://t.co/EkTMKzhHPs
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) February 17, 2017
Of course, Democrats went on tirades against the Trump administration for "considering" using the National Guard in this fashion, which it's clear now, they never did.
"Regardless of the White House's response, this document is an absolutely accurate description of the disturbing mindset that pervades the Trump Administration when it comes to our nation's immigrants," said Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, a freshman Democrat from Nevada. "The Trump administration has wasted no time validating its deep-seeded contempt and disregard for America's immigrant communities."
"The mere suggestion that the President would consider ordering 100,000 members of the National Guard to go door to door checking people's document status is deeply disturbing," said Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat. "The National Guard's principal responsibility is to help people in distress after natural disasters and respond to rare instances of domestic unrest. Deploying them for any other purpose is a severe mismanagement of resources, an abuse of Executive Power, and conjures images of Japanese internment camps and mass deportations of Mexican immigrants under President Eisenhower. I challenge Republicans and Democrats, whether they are members of Congress or Governors, to condemn this plan and ensure it never sees the light of day."
There's nothing to condemn Ms. Harris. It was never considered. However, what would frighten these people more than anything is if Congress actually did its duty and provided for the citizen militia and the President did his duty and called them up to enforce our laws. That would really make headlines, and it would be constitutional.