California has rejected Donald Trump’s plan for National Guard troops to be deployed to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration enforcement.
Two US officials told The Associated Press that California has said its National Guard will not do work too closely tied to immigration enforcement. Donald Trump’s order deploying troops to the Mexican border is considered closely tied to immigration, and as such, California has banned its troops from complying.
The state informed federal officials it will not allow its troops to fix and repair vehicles, operate remotely-controlled surveillance cameras, to report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, operate radios and provide “mission support,” which can include clerical work, buying gas and handling payroll, according to officials with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
The stance puts California on a collision course with Donald Trump who has called up but not federalized the National Guard and deployed units to the Mexican border.
Just last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown received praise from President Donald Trump last week after he pledged 400 troops to the Guard’s third large-scale border mission since 2006. Brown’s commitment allowed Trump to boast support from all four border-state governors.
However, Brown, a Democrat, based his support on the condition that California’s troops have nothing to do with immigration enforcement. He was not specific about jobs his troops would or would not perform or how he would distinguish between immigration-related work and going after criminal gangs and drug and gun smugglers.
California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan said Monday that the state was awaiting a formal response from the administration and had no additional details beyond the governor’s proposed agreement released last week that includes a ban on immigration enforcement.
Talks between U.S. and California officials about the duties the California troops would perform soured Friday and over the weekend after state authorities told federal officials that they would not participate in vehicle maintenance and the other jobs outlined for an initial phase across the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the U.S. officials said.
In spite of California’s stance, the other border-state governors – all Republicans – have openly embraced Trump’s plans.
White House is yet to react to the new move