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California to send National Guard to border, but governor says they won't be there to support D.C. policies

California Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to send more National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, but said Wednesd...

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 7:33 AM
Updated: Apr 12, 2018 7:33 AM

California Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to send more National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, but said Wednesday they will focus on fighting crime and not enforce policies of Washington.

"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," Brown said. "And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws."

Brown said 400 troops will augment a current mission that fights transnational crime.

The location of Guard personnel -- and number along the border, the coast and elsewhere in the state -- will be dictated by the needs on the ground, a spokeswoman for the governor said.

It will take some time before Guard troops can be deployed. It has been one week since California received the current request. In other operations it has taken several months to get troops where they are needed.

One ongoing operation has 55 Guard troops at the 140-mile border and 250 deployed statewide.

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted that she is "glad to have all four border governors working with us and the US National Guard to secure the border."

She added that "partnership [with] governors is vital to our nation's success."

The governor's statement said 15% of border apprehensions occur in 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,' " Brown said.

State leaders in California have made no secret of their opposition to many of the Trump administration's moves on immigration. And for days, leaders there had been tight-lipped about whether they would deploy National Guard troops.

A spokesman for the California Army National Guard initially said the administration's request would be promptly reviewed.

"We look forward to more detail, including funding, duration and end state," Lt. Col. Tom Keegan said.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has authorized the deployment of up to 4,000 National Guard personnel through September 30.

Last week Defense Department officials said that without approval from Mattis, troops would not perform law enforcement activities or interact with migrants or others who are detained. Officials say the troops will only carry weapons in "circumstances that might require self-defense."

In past border operations, officials have said National Guard troops cannot:

- Arrest people

- Seize drugs

- Conduct searches

On Tuesday, a captain with the Texas National Guard told CNN during a visit to an observation post on the border there that troops act as a physical deterrent and as extra sets of eyes and ears for Border Patrol agents.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3095814

Reported Deaths: 35549
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles104602114641
San Bernardino2587421561
Riverside2558082739
San Diego2197312222
Orange2178492546
Santa Clara959361158
Kern87240572
Fresno83591968
Sacramento816871128
Alameda69107842
Ventura63413462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43392773
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo33207309
San Francisco29665274
Solano26191108
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25380486
Merced24570316
Sonoma24262242
Kings19588148
Placer17584186
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13585151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10852138
Shasta9750123
Butte9582128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa773145
Lassen519916
San Benito504246
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323874
Mendocino319232
Amador303631
Lake264631
Humboldt245825
Glenn195520
Colusa17969
Calaveras163723
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
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Chico
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