Published: Feb. 17, 2017 By

An army major general speaks with Army North responders assigned to the incident command post during exercise Sudden Response 16-2 at Fort Hood, Texas.

An army major general speaks with army responders during exercise Sudden Response 16-2 at Fort Hood, Texas. (Photo: National Guard/public domain)

The Associated Press today reported on a draft plan involving the Department of Homeland Security to mobilize the National Guard in several states for immigration enforcement. According to the AP, spokesman Sean Spicer denied White House association with the document. CU Boulder experts are available to address topics related to such a plan.

Arturo Aldama can place into historical and ideological contexts such topics as nativism, immigration and the “push-pull” from Mexico, and the 1950s-era “Operation Wetback,” an immigration enforcement initiative with Mexico. Aldama is an associate professor of ethnic and Latinx (a gender-neutral form of "Latina" and "Latino") studies. Reach Aldama at  

Deborah Cantrell can discuss the ethics of government employees, as well as the basic issues that relate to executive orders and separation of powers. She is an associate professor of law and the director of the clinical education program at Colorado Law. Reach Cantrell by email at

Violeta Chapin can discuss the Posse Comitatus Act, an 1878 federal law that limits the power of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. The National Guard is exempt from the law; however, state governors can refuse to deputize National Guard troops within their jurisdictions to participate in immigration enforcement.

Chapin, a clinical professor of law, can also discuss local mobilization strategies to defend immigrants who might be rounded up in large raids, as well as unauthorized immigrants’ possible legal defenses in court, should they be placed in removal proceedings. Reach Chapin at 303-492-5830 or

Megan Hall can discuss issues related to immigration enforcement and immigration detention, including the interaction between the criminal justice and immigration systems; the asylum process; release options (including bond and parole) for people taken into immigration custody; and expedited removal (deportation without a hearing). Reach her at

For further assistance contact Elizabeth Lock in CU Boulder media relations at 303-492-3117 or