A draft government memo obtained by the Associated Press says President Donald Trump may order the deployment of some 100,000 National Guard troops to "round up unauthorized immigrants" in 11 states, including Oregon.
The memo states that "governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate." Federal law allows for Presidents to take command of state Guards forces.
According to the AP, the memo was drafted by President Trump's hand-picked Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, and has been circulating inside the department for two weeks.
The states listed in the memo had an above-average share of immigrants. They were: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas or Louisiana.
Check back for updates.
Update 8:08 am: Trump's weekly address has yet to begin. White House spokesman Sean Spicer is calling the AP story "100 percent false" but at the same time he refuses to deny the substance of the report—that the National Guard plan was under consideration.
WW has contacted Gov. Kate Brown's office seeking comment.
Update 8:18 am: A Homeland Security official confirmed for a Cox Media Group reporter in Washington D.C. that the National Guard memo existed, but called it "a very early, pre decisional draft." This contradicts the White House assertion that the AP report was "100 percent false."
The weekly presidential address, scheduled for 8 am PST, was evidently experiencing some technical difficulties.
Update 10:10 am: Vox was leaked what seems to be the same memo as the AP obtained and has posted the full text on its website.
One relevant section of the memo, dated Jan. 25 and labeled "FROM: John Kelly," reads as follows:
Pursuant to Title 32 ofthe United States Code, State National Guard components are employees of their respective states and are under the command of their Governors when they are not in federal service. Based on their training and experience, these men and women are particularly well-suited to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law and augment border security operations by Department components.
To maximize participation by state and local jurisdictions in the enforcement of federal immigration law, I am directing the Director of ICE to engage with all willing and qualified law enforcement jurisdictions for the purpose o f entering into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA. Additionally, I am directing the Commissioner of CBP and the Director of ICE to immediately engage with the Governors of the States adjacent to the land border with Mexico and those States adjoining such border States for the purpose of entering into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA to authorize qualified members of the State National Guard, while such members are not in federal service, or qualified members of a state militia or state defense force under the command of the Governor, to perform the functions ofan immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, and detention ofaliens in the United States.
Update 10:48 am: WW is still awaiting a response from Gov. Brown’s office. A spokesperson for New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez, whose state was also identified in the Homeland Security memo, said she was not notified.
U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) said on Twitter this morning, “The mere idea of using our National Guard like this is outrageous & serves only to tear families apart & destroy American businesses.”
Update 11:18 am: Brown spokesperson Chris Pair sent WW the following statement:
Governor Brown is glad to hear the Department of Homeland Security say they never seriously considered the draft memo. Governor Brown will continue to fight to keep our State a welcoming and inclusive place for all Oregonians, regardless of heritage, religion, or immigration status.
The Governor¹s Office has never received any information pertaining to the draft memo from federal authorities. Additionally, state agencies, including the Oregon Military Department, are not permitted to arrest or detain immigrants based solely on their undocumented status, under the authority of state law and Governor Brown’s Executive Order 17-04.