Calif. OKs limited National Guard deployment


While the Republican governors of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona swiftly agreed to President Trump's request to deploy the guard, the lone Democratic border state governor kept absolutely silent for a full week.

Instead, California's national guard troops will combat transnational drug crime, firearms smuggling, and human trafficking.

McGuire said the mission, formally called "Operation Guardian Shield", will extend through September 30, 2018.

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The deployment of National Guard members to the U.S. -Mexico border at Trump's request was underway Tuesday with a gradual ramp-up of troops under orders to help curb illegal immigration. Of these new guard members, some would be stationed at the border, he said, while others would be deployed to the coast and other parts of California. He said the troops were needed because of "lawlessness that continues at our southern border", and he wanted increased security while he continues his push to build a wall along the entire border. About 250 California National Guard troops are already participating, including 55 at the border.

California's "sanctuary" policies limiting cooperation with US immigration agents have been a target for Trump's ire, and in his most recent weekly address he called the state "a border-free zone where thousands of criminal aliens can roam free".

He said he thinks it's wrong to deploy the National Guard because militarization causes worry and tension for immigrant families who live near the border.

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Trump has taken credit for that decline, but in March the number of arrests and denials of entry at the Mexico border jumped to more than 50,000, the single-highest one-month total since the president took office.

The California Guard program now employs 250 personnel, including 55 at the California border with Mexico. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. Where the additional personnel are located "will be dictated by the needs on the ground", Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said in an email.

In his letter, Brown declared that "there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California", contrary to assertions by some of Trump's supporters. "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".

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