Posted on May 3, 2024

Trump Says He’ll Use National Guard to Deport Migrants, Doubling Down on Anti-immigration Rhetoric

Rebecca Santana, Associated Press, April 30, 2024

Donald Trump says he’d use the National Guard as part of efforts to deport millions of migrants across the country if he’s reelected, signaling that he’s doubling down on anti-immigration rhetoric that fueled his previous rise to power.

Trump’s comments came during a lengthy in-person and telephone interview with Time magazine earlier this month. The accompanying story was published online on Tuesday.

Trump didn’t say how exactly he’d carry out the deportation operations and what role the National Guard would play in them. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, said he wasn’t opposed to using active duty military if needed but that he thought the National Guard would do the job.

“If I thought things were getting out of control, I would have no problem using the military,” he said. “We have to have safety in our country. We have to have law and order in our country. And whichever gets us there, but I think the National Guard will do the job.”

U.S. military forces — both National Guard and active duty — have historically been used at the border to back up immigration personnel. However, using National Guard forces, or active-duty military, to help directly with deporting migrants, especially in the interior of the country, would be a drastic escalation of their use in the immigration sphere and would likely run into legal challenges.

During Trump’s first term, the Department of Homeland Security considered using National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants but the plans ultimately never came to fruition.


“These are people that aren’t legally in our country. This is an invasion of our country. An invasion like probably no country has ever seen before,” Trump told the magazine.