Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) condemned the Trump White House on Friday morning over an Associated Press report that the administration was considering mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops in order to round up undocumented immigrants.
Blasting the possibility as “despicable” at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Schumer called it “one of the most un-American things that would happen in the last century.”
“I just hope it’s not true. The fact that it might even be considered is appalling,” he added.
The Trump administration immediately rejected the story as false. White House Press Secretary told reporters, “This is 100 percent not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this. There is no effort to utilize the National Guard to round up immigrants.”
However, the White House and Department of Homeland Security did not return requests for comment from Associated Press according to their story.
The response from Democrats Capitol Hill was swift. Another top Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin (D-IL), assailed the possibility as a “frightening exercise of police state tactics.” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “To use a military force to break up families is unconscionable.”
There was no immediate response from Senate Republicans. At a Friday morning press conference, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he had not seen the report.
Schumer brought up the AP story unprompted during a press conference where Senate Democrats attacked the President’s EPA nominee Scott Pruitt while calling for a delay on his confirmation vote. Attacking the Trump cabinet as the “worst cabinet” in the “history of America,” the colorful New York Democrat acknowledged that Pruitt would likely be confirmed Friday afternoon.
When asked about his reaction to the President’s long and wide ranging Thursday press conference, Schumer simply responded with a long drawn out sigh.