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 TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration 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 MattisAllies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump Congress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Trump nominates ambassador to Turkey MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele Nielsen2,000 asylum seekers return home, decide to stay in Mexico: report Trump taps FEMA official to lead agency Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden 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.