The National Guard, part of the United States military's reserve forces, has been used in recent years for surveillance and intelligence on the border, but not direct law enforcement.
President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at his Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a cabinet meeting and berated her for failing to adequately secure the nation's borders. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended her, saying the administration was looking for new ways to deter illegal crossings.
Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, another hard-line group, said Ms. Nielsen's approach to border security is less like Mr. Trump's campaign messaging and more like the moderate approach taken by Mr.
The New York Times, which first reported Thursday afternoon that Trump had berated Nielsen, said that she had told colleagues she was close to resigning, citing several current and former officials familiar with the episode.
"The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false", tweeted Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton.
Throughout the interview, Trump blamed Nielsen for what he said was collapse to fasten USA borders, " the newspaper mentioned the officials.
According to DHS data, there were about 30,186 total cases of foreign nationals claiming credible fear and thus requesting asylum in the US between October and December 2017 - at the same time that an amnesty for illegal aliens was being considered by Congress and President Trump's administration.
Trump lashed out at his Cabinet, and Nielsen in particular, when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month.
Instead, she told the newspaper that she will "continue to direct the department to do all we can to implement the president's security-focused agenda" as head of almost 20,000 department employees.
Nielsen is responsible for those 20,000 border representatives who work in Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "I share his frustration", she said in a statement. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose private conversations. "You'll be processed. We have asylum laws", Nielsen said during a congressional hearing.
A White House source, who requested to be anonymous, confirmed the incident and said the argument was "heated and angry".
Trump has also been frustrated with Congress's refusal to fully fund his promised border wall along the nation's southern border, and some in the administration had accused DHS leaders of slow-walking more aggressive efforts to separate children from their parents at the border.