California Deploys National Guard; Troops Already At Texas, Arizona Borders

Henrietta Brewer
April 12, 2018

He sent a defiant letter to the Trump administration on Wednesday, saying the additional troops will only supplement the staffing of California's ongoing program to combat transnational crime. "This will not be a mission to build a new wall".

Other border states are also deploying National Guard troops. Although New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has - as the Santa Fe New Mexican reports - "been critical in the past of the president's approach to border security and immigration", her office said this week the state is deploying 80 National Guard troops this week and expects to eventually deploy 250.

"I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should 'work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life, '" Brown wrote.

The guardsmen are being added as part of Trump's plan announced last week for the military to shore up the southern border until his administration builds his long-proposed wall there. Texas, New Mexico and Arizona have thus far pledged a combined deployment of 1,588 Guard members, 700 of which have already arrived on the border.

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".

But he attached a disclaimer and made it clear that his acceptance of money didn't indicate he agreed with the federal government's agenda on immigration and borders. Where the additional personnel are located "will be dictated by the needs on the ground", Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said in an email.

The Pentagon has said National Guard troops will not perform a law-enforcement role, and will be armed only for the goal of self-defense.

"Here are the facts: There is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California", he wrote.

The letter was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis and posted on Brown's twitter account with the caption: "California responds".

In his letter, Brown pointed out that the number of undocumented immigrants apprehended by Border Patrol agents is already the lowest its been in decades. He added those were the same reasons he agreed to similar targeted assistance from President Bush and Obama in past years.

Other reports by iNewsToday