California Deploys National Guard to Border, With Conditions

Texas National Guardsman on Rio Grande River Border

But not all of them will go to the border, and none will be "enforcing federal immigration laws".

Pedro Rios, director for the American Friends Service Committee's U.S. -Mexico border program in San Diego, questioned why Brown would send troops while rejecting Trump's premise that they are needed to help stop illegal immigration.

"Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California", Brown wrote the Trump Cabinet members.

The Democratic governor broke a week of silence Wednesday by agreeing to contribute 400 troops, though not all will be on the border.

The coalition includes 31 sheriff's departments from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California that patrol areas within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the border.

Third, not all of the 400 troops Brown agreed to accept federal funding for will deploy to the border; some will also deploy elsewhere in the state. Authorities have said the new barrier would help curb illegal crossings and drug trafficking in one of the busiest sectors along the border.

He sent a defiant letter to the Trump administration on Wednesday, saying the additional troops will only supplement the staffing of California's ongoing program to combat transnational crime.

Last week Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced that President Trump would send National Guard troops to the US southern border.

"It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life", Brown said. The Pentagon said last week that troops won't perform law enforcement functions or interact with people detained by border authorities without its approval. And for days, leaders there had been tight-lipped about whether they would deploy National Guard troops.

The deployment will almost triple the size of the California National Guard's transnational crime program, which now has 250 members, including 55 at the border.

Governors act as the commander-in-chief of their respective state guards, which is why Trump isn't authorized to direct the troops as he sees fit.

The program is now staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California border. 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.

As California and the federal government have sparred over immigration policy, Brown has faced political pressure in the Golden State to deny Trump's request.


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