Gov. Jerry Brown agrees to deploy National Guard troops at Trump's request

Frederick Owens
April 12, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown agreed on Wednesday to expand the California National Guard's efforts on crime and drug issues that cross the state's border with Mexico, but insisted troops would not be used to enforce immigration directives from President Trump.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, Brown said 400 additional National Guard Troops would join the 250 assigned to an ongoing program to combat transnational crime. Authorities have said the new barrier would help curb illegal crossings and drug trafficking in one of the busiest sectors along the border.

Brown said the California Guard members may be deployed at the border, the coast and elsewhere statewide.

State government officials in California said Brown's proposed agreement on the troop deployment had been submitted to the federal government for approval.

He says another 112 of the 338 troops that Arizona has committed to Trump's operation will provide border air support, such as flying helicopters, from a base in the town of Marana near Tucson. "The California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws". In comparison, the governors of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona were more enthusiastic in their offers of help.

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She had planned to get a firsthand look Thursday at the work being done to replace existing vehicle barriers with what is being billed as part of President Donald Trump's border wall.

California's "sanctuary" policies limiting cooperation with USA immigration agents have been a target for Trump's ire, and in his most recent weekly address he called the state "a border-free zone where thousands of criminal aliens can roam free".

At that time, he added, the federal government will determine whether it has the budget and whether the mission is necessary to continue. Where the additional personnel are located "will be dictated by the needs on the ground", Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said in an email. He said the state's transnational-crime effort now includes 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the border. Customs and Border Protection report, there was a 37-percent increase overall in March, when compared to February and a 203 percent increase compared to March of past year.

Brown also said that, "there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California".

The state's guardsmen provided "targeted assistance" in 2006 under then-President George W. Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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