Trump Admin: California Rejects Terms Of National Guard Deployment To Border

Trump Admin: California Rejects Terms Of National Guard Deployment To Border

Two officials have told The Associated Press that California has rejected terms of the federal government's initial plans for sending National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration.

President Donald Trump attacked California governor Jerry Brown for refusing to send national guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border.

Last week, Brown pledged 400 troops to Mr. Trump's border mission on the condition that they have nothing to do with immigration enforcement.

Talks are ongoing and the federal government has yet to publicly respond to Brown's demand that troops avoid immigration enforcement or the state's position on avoiding the specific jobs proposed, the officials said. Brown's agreement and cover letter were an attempt to appease Trump's request for assistance without actually allowing his National Guard to be used for the mission Trump wants those troops: to guard the border and repel unauthorized immigrants until his wall is constructed.

"The next step is for the federal government to respond by signing the Memorandum of Agreement" from the governor, California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Keegan said.

State and federal officials sent conflicting messages.

"We are anticipating additional requirements, and we got a signal from California that they are interested in improving border security", Vitiello said.

"This is a finite resource, so I can't tell these guys we are going to be working together for the next 10 years; it really depends on what investments that are made to help us achieve what we have been asked to do", Vitiello said.

Salesses said that the activities that Border Patrol had wanted the National Guard troops to participate in had involved operational support, including: "motor transport maintenance, radio communications, heavy equipment operations, some planning administrative, clerical kinds of responsibilities, and then operating some surveillance camera operators".

Nearly immediately, former Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) sent a letter to Governor Brown urging him to ignore President Trump's request.

"Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border", the president said on Twitter.

The troops will not perform any functions that would place them in direct contact with personnel on the border, and none of the jobs they will do will call for them to be armed, he said. Drawing that line will likely prove hard because the Border Patrol combats illegal immigration but also drug smuggling and other crimes.

New government funding for the country would go into "support surgeries targeting prohibited firearm, individual traffickers and multinational gangs and drug smugglers along the border and throughout the country", the correspondence read.

Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have sent 250, 50 and 650 troops respectively, and the Department of Defense aims to grow that number to a total of 2,000 by the end of September, DoD officials told reporters.

Vitiello said that unlike in Operation Jump Start - when Guard soldiers deployed to the border in 2006 - the soldiers will not be placed in any support roles in which border patrolmen will serve as force protection. Almost 250 were in Arizona, more than 60 in New Mexico and about 650 in Texas.

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