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US Marshals guard DeVos after tense nomination process

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is being guarded by the agents from the U.S. Marshals Service after a bruising nomination process, Politico reported.[1]

Drew J. Wade, a spokesman for the service, told the magazine that he is not aware of these agents guarding an education secretary in the past. The education secretary is traditionally guarded by a small security unit from the education department, the report said. The report said that few other details are available about the security arrangement. Despite her win, DeVos emerged bruised from her highly divisive nomination fight. Opposed by half the Senate, she faced criticism, even ridicule for lack of experience. At one point, she said some schools should have guns because of the threat of grizzly bears.

And there has been scathing opposition from teachers unions and civil rights activists over her support of charter schools and her conservative religious ideology.

President Trump accused Democrats of seeking to torpedo education progress. In a tweet before the vote, he wrote, “Betsy DeVos is a reformer, and she is going to be a great Education Sec. for our kids!” Pence tweeted later in the day that supporting DeVos was “a vote for every child having a chance at a world-class education.”

In a separate development, DeVos announced Friday that a government website devoted to students with disabilities, which had been down for more than a week, has been restored and will be updated with input from interested parties. She also accused the previous administration of neglecting the website. The American Federation of Teachers disputed that contention.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


  1. ^ Politico reported. (

White House denies report Trump is considering using National Guard troops for immigration roundups

The Trump[1] administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up immigrants in the U.S. illegally, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by the Associated Press. The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Ore., and as far east as New Orleans, La. Almost immediately after the Associated Press published its report, the White House[2] issued a denial. That is 100% not true. It is false,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer[3] told the media pool aboard Air Force One before President Trump headed to South Carolina to tour a Boeing plant later Friday.

There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants,” Spicer said. He said he couldn’t deny altogether that the subject had never been discussed in the administration, The White House has noted before that many proposals have been drafted on a range of issues, but not all are under serious consideration.

Four states that border Mexico are included in the proposal California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Governors of the 11 states would decide whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general. While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders. Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.” It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any immigrants who crossed the border illegally. A request to the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal was not answered.

The draft document has circulated among DHS staff over the last two weeks. As recently as Friday, staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway. If implemented, the impact of the program could be significant. Nearly one-half of the estimated 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without permission live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data. Use of National Guard troops would greatly increase the number of immigrants targeted in one of Trump’s executive orders last month, which expanded the definition of who could be considered a criminal and therefore a potential target for deportation. That order also allows immigration agents to prioritize removing anyone who has “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

Under current rules, even if the proposal is implemented, there would not be immediate mass deportations. Those with existing deportation orders could be sent back to their countries of origin without additional court proceedings. But deportation orders generally would be needed for most other immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control. Representatives for the governors of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico said they were unaware of the proposal, and either declined to comment or said it was premature to discuss whether they would participate. The other three states did not immediately respond to the AP. The proposal would extend the federal-local partnership program that the Obama administration began scaling back in 2012 to address complaints that it promoted racial profiling.

The 287(g) program, which Trump included in his immigration executive order, gives local police, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers the authority to assist in the detection of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally as a regular part of their law enforcement duties on the streets and in jails. The draft memo also mentions other items included in Trump’s executive order, including the hiring of an additional 5,000 border agents, which needs financing from Congress, and his campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The signed order contained no mention of the possible use of state National Guard troops.

According to the draft memo, the militarization effort would be proactive, specifically empowering Guard troops to solely carry out immigration enforcement, not as an add-on to the way local law enforcement is used in the program. Allowing Guard troops to operate inside non-border states also would go far beyond past deployments. In addition to responding to natural or man-made disasters or for military protection of the population or critical infrastructure, state Guard forces have been used to assist with immigration-related tasks on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the construction of fences.

In the mid-2000s, President George W. Bush twice deployed Guard troops on the border to focus on non-law enforcement duties to help augment the Border Patrol as it bolstered its ranks. And in 2010, then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer[4] announced a border security plan that included Guard reconnaissance, aerial patrolling and military exercises.

In July 2014, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border when the surge of migrant children fleeing violence in Central America overwhelmed U.S. officials responsible for their care. The Guard troops’ stated role on the border at the time was to provide surveillance but not make arrests.



  1. ^ Donald Trump (
  2. ^ White House (
  3. ^ Sean Spicer (
  4. ^ Jan Brewer (

Trudeau home to get $2 million in security upgrades

The federal government is planning to spend $2 million to beef up security at the historic home occupied by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will spend $1.6 million to upgrade security at Rideau Cottage. The National Capital Commission (NCC), which is responsible for Canada’s official residences, will contribute $390,000 to the upgrades. The spending is outlined in a small item buried in the 101-page supplementary estimates document tabled in Parliament Tuesday and still awaiting parliamentary approval.

Trudeau has opted to live in Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall instead of the prime minister’s traditional residence at 24 Sussex Drive, which is in need of major repairs. Asked why security at Rideau Cottage is only being upgraded now more than a year after the Trudeau family moved in RCMP spokesperson Brigitte Mineault said the force assesses security risks on an ongoing basis.

“This measure is simply part of the RCMP’s continuous review of measures and best practices and is aimed at providing the prime minister and his family with the same level of security they would receive at 24 Sussex Drive,” she said. The problem, said Mineault, is that Rideau Cottage wasn’t designed to house a prime minister. In recent years, it usually housed the secretary general to Canada’s governor general.

“Since Rideau Cottage was not purposely built for the prime minister of Canada, security enhancements were deemed necessary to ensure a level of security necessary for the prime minister and his family.”

Trudeau and his family outside of Rideau Cottage, Halloween 2015

Trick or treat! Joyeuse #Halloween![1][2]


However, Mineault would not say how exactly the government is going to spend the $2 million, saying only that the upgrades won’t be there forever.

“The physical features of these security enhancements are recoverable and removable: in other words, they are not permanent,” she said. “They will be built with the utmost respect for the natural, heritage and symbolic character of the Rideau Hall grounds.”

The 22-room Rideau Cottage, built in 1867, is a recognized historic site located on the sprawling 88-acre grounds of Rideau Hall. In 2013, the National Capital Commission carried out $400,000 worth of renovations to the foundation, roof, ceiling, as well as mechanical and electrical systems to make the building energy efficient.

Trudeau Home To Get  Million In Security Upgrades

Trudeau grew up at 24 Sussex Drive, the traditional residence of Canada’s prime minister, but has chosen instead to install his family at Rideau Cottage while the National Capital Commission prepares a major renovation of 24 Sussex. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

Meanwhile, 24 Sussex Drive sits largely unoccupied across the street from Rideau Hall used mainly by staff and the RCMP assigned to guard it. The Trudeau family has reportedly occasionally used the indoor swimming pool installed while Pierre Trudeau was in office. In August, documents obtained by Radio-Canada revealed that upkeep to 24 Sussex cost taxpayers $180,000 over a five-month period. In 2008, an auditor’s report revealed that 24 Sussex needed major repairs. However, that did not deter former prime minister Stephen Harper and his family from continuing to live there until he lost the 2015 federal election.

Inside renos at Rideau Cottage, Justin Trudeau’s new residence0:34

An architect and developer’s report, obtained by iPolitics in November 2016, estimated renovations and repairs to 24 Sussex could cost almost $38 million.

Wednesday, NCC officials were tight-lipped when asked about plans for the residence.

“The National Capital Commission continues to work with its federal partners, including the RCMP, to develop a plan for the future of 24 Sussex Drive to ensure the government is able to make a prudent and informed decision,” wrote Nicholas Galletti, director of strategic media for the NCC, in an e-mailed response.

“This includes issues related to security, functionality, environmental sustainability, universal accessibility and heritage preservation.”

Asked when that plan would be ready, Galletti would only say “further information will be available in due course.”

Elizabeth Thompson can be reached at


  1. ^ #Halloween (
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  3. ^ @JustinTrudeau (
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