Trump said last week he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members to the border, issuing a proclamation citing “the lawlessness that continues at our southern border.”
Arizona, New Mexico and Texas all made new pledges that add up to almost half of the up to 4,000 troops Trump requested. Some Guard members started arriving at the border as states and the federal government officials continued to discuss what they will do.
Read Gov. Brown’s full letter below.
Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Mattis:
Pursuant to your request, the California National Guard will accept federal funding to add approximately 400 Guard members statewide to supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime. This program is currently staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California border.
Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans – Republicans and Democrats. 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.
But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.
Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California. Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years (and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California).
I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should “work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life.”
I look forward to working with you on this important effort.
Edmund G. Brown Jr.