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White House denies report that Trump is considering mobilizing the National Guard for immigration enforcement

 (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

The White House flatly denied an Associated Press report Friday that as many as 100,000 National Guard troops could be mobilized to make immigration arrests.

An 11-page memo obtained by the news wire calls for the potential deployment in 11 states, including California and others that border Mexico, as part of a plan to implement President Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order directing federal agencies to “employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dismissed the report to reporters on Air Force One, as the president was preparing to travel to South Carolina.

“That is 100% not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this,” he said. “There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.”

The draft memo was written by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the AP reported, and would give governors of those states the choice of whether to deploy their National Guard troops in the initiative.

In the Trump administration’s first months, such drafts outlining potential administration actions have often become public. In some cases the leaked information largely reflected executive actions the president ultimately signed, but in others were not — or at least not yet — steps the administration took.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told members of Congress on Thursday that while the agency could round up 11-million people under the president’s order, they “did not have the resources,” Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said afterward.

"That's pretty chilling," she said.

Times staff writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

8:54 a.m.: This story was updated with more comment from Spicer and comment from a congresswoman.

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