The Associated Press dropped the ball Friday with a supposed scoop alleging President Trump is considering deploying approximately 100,000 National Guard units to round up illegal immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security is considering no such thing, an agency spokeswoman said following the story’s publication.
The leaked DHS memo on which the entire AP report hinges was only an early, pre-decision draft, and it wasn’t written by the agency’s secretary, John F. Kelly, according to federal officials.
The draft memo didn’t specifically suggest nationalizing the National Guard. The draft memo also never used the 100,000 figure cited by the AP, though it’s possible the news group came to that number by tallying the number of troops currently stationed in the 11 states where the National Guard would supposedly be used to crack down on illegal immigration. The report doesn’t explain this.
Also, to be clear, the word “deportation” is never used in the memo. As far as National Guard units are concerned, the memo only floats the idea of giving them the authority to assist in the “investigation, apprehension and detention” of criminal aliens.
Further, there is nothing in the AP report to indicate the president was ever aware of any such proposal.
In short, the story is the exact opposite of enlightening.
“We stand by our reporting,” the group’s spokeswoman, Laura Easton, told the Washington Examiner.
The story’s original headline read Friday morning, “Trump weighs mobilizing Nat Guard for immigration roundups.”
The global newswire said elsewhere in an alert on social media, “BREAKING: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”
Reporters and pundits reacted with the usual mixture of shock, horror, dismay and lots of allusions to the Nazis.
“This isn’t going to end well. Remember Yellow Badge and Jews?” said Agence France-Presse’s Vishal Manve.
Gigantic magazine editor Lincoln Michel remarked elsewhere, “Yes, you are a literal Nazi if you support this.”
“This would literally lead families and children hiding in attics. Again, we’ve seen this before,” said the New York Daily News’ senior justice writer Shaun King.