National Guard Lt. Colonel denies rejecting plan to send troops to border
17 April, 2018, 10:40 | Author: Sheila Harris
Members of the Arizona National Guard listen to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on April 9, 2018 at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix, Arizona.
President Donald J. Trump authorized the National Guard, with the affected governors' approval, to enhance its support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection along the southern U.S. border.
And later, Trump himself tweeted: "California Governor Jerry Brown is doing the right thing and sending the National Guard to the Border".
Vitiello said the federal government wanted 237 troops for work in two parts of the state that California "has indicated they will not perform", but he emphasized that California may participate in other ways that must still be worked out.
"State officials have not rejected anything since the governor 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 National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Keegan said in a statement.
And they insisted they won't make the same mistakes as previous deployments such as Operation Jump Start during the Bush administration, when guard troops were deployed for construction and other forward activities - but were unarmed and had to be protected by Border Patrol agents. The federal government has not yet responded. It's not going to become a mission to round up detain persons or women and kids escaping violence and trying a healthier lifestyle.
Several cities including Los Angeles are "sanctuary cities" that require local law enforcement agencies not to tell federal agents about residents' legal status.
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Just how limited became clearer Monday after California's National Guard told Homeland Security officials the state will not allow soldiers to do the types of things they're doing elsewhere on the border: monitoring surveillance cameras, performing maintenance and transporting USA border agents.
Brown's office was noncommittal about how numerous 400 additional guardsmen would be sent to the border, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
The Democratic governor cast his decision as a welcome infusion of support paid for by the USA government to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers.
It is unclear at this point what specific jobs the troops would, or would not, perform at the border.
The Associated Pressreported the tenuous agreement between the federal government and the state soured over the weekend. 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. But while Brown carefully circumscribed his troops' mission, the White House saw it for what it was - California submitting to Trump's command.
Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, did not immediately answer detailed question about California's rejection of specific guard duties.
De Leon called Trump's call for troops at the border a "manufactured crisis", and said, "We are not experiencing an inordinate influx of immigrants, as officials in the Trump Administration have claimed, citing a caravan of immigrants coming from Central America".
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