Trump signs off on memo to send National Guard to southern border

Trump signs off on memo to send National Guard to southern border
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE signed a proclamation late Wednesday ordering National Guard troops be sent to the U.S.-Mexico border to address a “surge of illegal activity.”

In a memo to Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Mattis open to meeting with Russian defense chief: report Overnight Defense: Fears rise over Trump-Putin summit | McCain presses Trump to hold Putin 'accountable' for hacking | Pentagon does damage control after NATO meet MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenHomeland Security advisory council members resign over family separations: report Republican Uber riders say driver kicked them out with 'Welcome to the resistance' Top Senate Dem: Trump administration's lack of focus on election security an 'embarrassment' MORE, Trump ordered the National Guard be used to secure the border “to stop the flow of deadly drugs and other contraband, gang members and other criminals, and illegal aliens into this country.” 

Trump also asked Mattis and Nielsen to submit reports within 30 days detailing what other resources are needed at the border.

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Trump first suggested on Tuesday that he'd like to deploy troops to the southern border to secure the area until his proposed wall can be built.

On Wednesday, he followed through on that idea. Nielsen spoke at the White House press briefing to explain the deployment of troops.

“It’s time to act,” Nielsen told reporters, adding that the deployments could begin “immediately.”

She did not share how many troops will be sent to the border, the length of the deployment or its cost.

Trump has spent recent days tweeting his frustrations about current immigration laws, warning of "caravans" of migrants approaching the border and calling on Congress to enact tougher regulations.