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 TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax 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 MattisThreatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report Hillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Minority lawmakers call out Google for hiring former Trump DHS official 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.