Cross-posted at Fortune.
Memoranda on immigration enforcement released on Tuesday are raising concerns that the Trump administration intends to pursue a policy of mass deportation. The memos make clear that immigration agents are expected to apprehend and deport any undocumented alien with whom they come into contact—not just those who have committed serious crimes. They instruct the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to “expeditiously” hire 10,000 additional agents and officers, and they call for an expanded role by local police in immigration enforcement.
One of the most interesting aspects of these documents, however, is what was left out of them. Last Friday, the Associated Press reported on a leaked draft of one of the memos. The draft directed the federal government to enter into agreements with 11 states authorizing National Guard troops to round up and detain undocumented immigrants living inside the United States.
Confronted with the memo, White House press secretary Sean Spicer issued his now-familiar boilerplate denial, calling the AP story “false” and declaring that the memo “is not a White House document.” A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, however, confirmed that the memo was an early draft, albeit one that had never been seriously considered. Meanwhile, agency employees told reporters it was under active consideration as of February 10.
Based on the final version of the memorandum released Tuesday, it appears that the idea was indeed rejected…for now. But it would be a mistake to ignore it. The draft memo provides a sobering window into how an administration that seems bent on expanding executive power views the proper role of the military—an issue that may well arise again.
Read the full article at Fortune.