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 TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president 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: Air Force outlines plan for biggest force since end of Cold War | Trump admin slashes refugee cap | Mattis accuses Russia of meddling in Macedonia's NATO bid It’s long past time to tie the president’s hands Mattis warns of Russian meddling in Macedonia's bid for NATO: report MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenInvestigation into FEMA head referred to prosecutors: report Gowdy requests FEMA administrator’s travel records amid allegations The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil 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.