California to send 400 Guard troops to Mexico border

Posted April 12, 2018

Jerry Brown agreed Wednesday, April 11, 2018, to deploy 400 National Guard troops at President Donald Trump's request, but not all will head to the U.S. -Mexico border as Trump wants and none will enforce federal immigration enforcement.

The state's program to combat transnational crime, which targets gangs, human traffickers and firearm and drug smugglers, is now staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California-Mexico border, according to Brown's letter.

The Golden State Governor agreed to send approximately 400 troops to the US-Mexico border; adding they will be used for targeting "criminal gangs" and "illegal firearms" but will not "build a wall" or "round up women and children".

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis, Brown said he was willing to help fight crime but added, "Let's be crystal clear on the scope of this mission".

Brown did not say how numerous California troops might actually head to the border.

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The federal government must agree to California's terms before the troops would be deployed.

Trump has said he wants up to 4,000 troops to be sent to the border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

The troops have been barred from interacting with migrants or any people that Border Patrol agents detain, and would not be armed unless necessary for self-protection. President Donald Trump signs proclamation to deploy National Guard to US-Mexico border While the governor accepted the funding for extra troops, he was very clear about what the additional troops will not be doing.

"The location of Guard personnel - and number specifically working in support of operations along the border, the coast and elsewhere in the state - will be dictated by the needs on the ground", said Brown's press secretary, Evan Westrup.

He said he had also set quotas for immigration judges to reduce enormous court backlogs, saying they must complete 700 cases a year to earn a satisfactory job performance grade.

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

California deployed troops to the border under former Presidents George W. Bush in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2010.

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey has so far sent 338 troops to the border, which KJZZ reports are "expected to give air and logistical support, help with reconnaissance and work on border infrastructure".

Brown's announcement comes amid growing tensions between California and the Trump administration.

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