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Trump looking for ‘legal’ way to send a voluntary emergency force to the US-Mexico border: report

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President Donald Trump is considering sending a volunteer emergency response team to the US-Mexico border — though some within the government think it doesn’t make sense.

Politico reported that four current and former officials who were briefed on Trump’s talks on the subject confirmed that the president is considering sending the team to the border.

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One Homeland Security official briefed on the discussion told Politico that Trump has been “casting about” for additional methods to stop undocumented migrants from entering the United States — and that lawyers are being consulted as to whether “it’s possible at all.”

“All of this is just to buttress the administration’s claim that there’s an emergency,” another DHS official said of the consideration, adding that it “makes eminent sense for a hurricane” but not for border security.

Homeland Security operates a “Surge Capacity Force,” the report noted, that is meant to “augment the federal response to a catastrophic disaster.” It’s comprised of volunteers from DHS and other federal agencies, and typically responds to hurricanes and wildfires when FEMA cannot.

A Trump administration official that spoke to Politico said that the president could not use the existing surge force, however, because the team’s operations are paid for by a disaster relief fund and they’re trained in FEMA procedures that wouldn’t work in the context of border security.

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“I think what they would seek to do is build a team of people from around the department that have skill sets in that arena,” the official said. “It would have to be different people and designed for a different purpose.”

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said he hadn’t heard about the president’s considerations. Judd added that such volunteers would likely be tasked with logistical work and that it’s “unlikely” that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers would be used at the border.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Texas governor busted sending racist call-to-arms a day before El Paso attack: ‘take matters into our own hands’

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On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) tweeted out a message of unity and promised to work to reduce violence in his state, in the wake of the shooting in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens more injured:

Today we had hearings responding to the tragic shooting in El Paso.

We focused on community healing, combating domestic terrorism, reducing hateful ideologies, & keeping guns out of hands of deranged killers while respecting 2nd Amendment rights.

We’ll keep TX safe.#txlege pic.twitter.com/ymct4aiSgK

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Facebook bans far-right website from pro-Trump advertising after they try to skirt transparency rules

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On Thursday, NBC News reported that Facebook has banned the Epoch Times from placing political advertisements, after the right-wing website tried to conceal its multimillion-dollar dark money streams and get around the social network's political advertising transparency rules in its propaganda supporting President Donald Trump.

The Epoch Times had tried to skirt rules by running ads under puppet names like "Honest Paper" and "Pure American Journalism," confusing users about who was really behind the ads.

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GOP leaders are pressuring Kansas Republican to resign from Congress immediately: report

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On Thursday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Republicans in Kansas and Washington are pressuring Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS) to step down after just eight months in office.

It is currently unclear why they are calling for his resignation.

Watkins has thus far given no indications he will leave office. His spokesman Jim Joice stated that he has no plans to resign, and disputed the idea that Republican officials are pressuring him to do so, but acknowledged there have been conversations around the topic.

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