California Rejects Federal Plan For National Guard Duties At The Border


California Rejects Federal Plan For National Guard Duties At The Border

Cheryl Sanders
April 17, 2018

After that report, Lt. Colonel Tom Keegan said state officials have not rejected anything since Brown responded to the federal government last Wednesday with the proposed "Memorandum of Agreement between the State of California and The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security".

California is at the forefront of what opponents call the "Resistance" to Trump's administration, with the heavily Democratic state suing the federal government over numerous issues, including the rollback of environmental regulations.

"This will not be a mission to build a new wall", Brown said in a statement last week. The state informed federal officials that its troops will not be allowed to fix vehicles, operate remote surveillance equipment, operate radios, or provide other "mission support" to border agents.


California has rejected a preliminary federal plan for the state's National Guard troops deployed to the border because it entails too much support for immigration enforcement, according to US officials.

Vitiello said the governor decided California will not accept terms of an initial troop rollout for the state that was similar to plans for the other three border states, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Brown's pledge of 400 troops allowed Trump to boast support from all four border-state governors and helped put the president above the lower end of his threshold of marshaling 2,000 to 4,000 troops that he wants to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.


Ronald Vitiello, the Border Patrol's acting deputy commissioner, said talks with California were ongoing and it was possible the state would lend troops for other support roles, including maritime and aerial surveillance, which include counternarcotics work. Brown sent a letter last week offering to send troops to the border - on the condition they don't participate in immigration enforcement - and the next day Trump praised him in an exuberant tweet. According to one USA official, the California Guard has suggested assigning about 40 troops to marijuana eradication across the state.

Salesses, the Pentagon official, said the Border Patrol had asked California to send 237 troops to the agency's San Diego and El Centro sectors, but state officials panned the request. Nor has California explained what criteria it would use to distinguish between immigration-related tasks and tracking transnational gangs, human traffickers and drug smugglers. The other border-state governors have openly embraced the Trump administration's plan, pledging combined deployment of about 1,600 Guard members along the southern borders of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

"We're refining our requirements", Vitiello said.


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