Gregory Bull / AP

The AP reported earlier today that the Trump administration is considering calling up 100,000 members of the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants, using a memo they reported was written by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the report is "100% false" and Homeland Security denied that Kelly wrote or saw the memo, or even considered mobilizing the National Guard.

But an administration official admitted the existence of such a memo, telling Axios that the disputed memo was an early draft, internal document that Secretary Kelly never saw.

The directive: The memo, as reported by the AP, would allow National Guard troops "to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States." It also states that they would be allowed to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

The scope: The version obtained by the AP would target immigration enforcement well beyond the U.S. border, reaching to Oregon and Louisiana. Governors would be able to decide whether their troops would participate.

The impact: The AP states that even if the memo were enacted, it would not result in immediate mass deportations as deportation orders would still be needed in order to deport most illegal immigrants.

The reaction:

  • Per the White House press pool, Sean Spicer branded the report "100% not true" and added that "there is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants." He also noted that the memo was "not a White House document."
  • Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan told Axios: "It's incorrect. The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard for immigration enforcement." He added that Kelly did not write the alleged memo.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include White House and Homeland denials, in addition to more details from the Associated Press.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
32 mins ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.

58 mins ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!