A leaked draft memo from the Department of Homeland Security indicates that at one point, Republican President Donald Trump was considering mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guardsmen to conduct mass deportations.
Penned by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the proposal called for mobilizing troops in seven states – California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana – to “round up” undocumented immigrants.
The memo was meant to serve as a clarifier and supplement Donald Trump’s vicious Jan 25 immigration executive order, which drastically expanded the powers of ICE agents and the definition of those eligible for deportation.
The DHS intended to empower the National Guardsmen with ICE powers, enabling them “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, and detention of aliens in the United States.”
State governors would have a choice in whether or not to participate in these mass deportations.
It goes without saying that such a deployment would be unprecedented in American history. Having fought so hard to create this imaginary space in the minds of his followers where immigrants are a threat and not a boon to the American people, Trump now feels he has the political capital to make good on his promises – and the white supremacists behind him are clearly all too eager to begin cleansing the United States of nonwhites.
While this particular order isn’t anywhere close to seeing the light of day, it just goes to show the lengths to which this extremist administration is willing to go. Trump’s plan to use the military to tear families apart is horrifying. There is little that could be more un-American and more offensive to our national values than this outrageous proposal.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.