Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump administration welcomes California troops

Trump administration welcomes California troops

Brown did not say how numerous California troops might actually head to the border.

The new contingent of California Guard members being deployed could be posted at the border, the coast and elsewhere statewide, Brown said.

"Let's be crystal clear on the scope of this mission", Brown wrote in a letter that accompanied the Memorandum of Agreement he submitted Wednesday to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The Republican governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas accepted the administration's request to send National Guard troops to the border fairly quickly last week.

Instead, Brown said the troops would join an existing program to combat transnational drug crime, firearms smuggling and human trafficking. That's why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

Governor Jerry Brown today responded to the federal government's request for an additional 400 California National Guard troops, but not without certain stipulations.

On April 4th, President Trump signed a memorandum that says, "the security of the United States is imperiled by a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border" and "the situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis". But not all of them will go to the border, and none will be "enforcing federal immigration laws".

"Glad to have all four border governors working with us and the @USNationalGuard to secure the border", Nielsen wrote on Twitter after Brown's announcement.

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Border crossings for the past several years have been heading toward historic lows.

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

The troops have been barred from interacting with migrants or any people that Border Patrol agents detain, and would not be armed unless necessary for self-protection.

Other border states are also deploying National Guard troops.

In contrast, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is contributing 1,000 troops, embraced Trump's mission the day it was announced, saying it would promote the rule of law and "help ensure we are doing everything we can to stem the flow of illegal immigration".

And fourth, the agreement Brown reached with the Trump administration will expire on September 30 - less than six months from now - unless both sides agree to extend it.

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