California rejects federal plan for National Guard duties at the border
17 April, 2018, 20:31
California National Guard members have done such work in previous border deployments.
"Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border". Other Republican governors not located on the border have also said they would support the effort with troops including Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Talks between the US and California officials about the duties California troops would perform, according to The Associated Press, soured over the weekend after California officials told the Trump administration they would not participate in vehicle maintenance and other initial jobs across the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. "They will provide much-needed aerial support, and we anticipate they will help with repairing roads and vehicles along with other duties", said Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A National Guard troop watches over Rio Grande River on the border in Roma, Texas on Wednesday.
But given the virulent context brought about by President Trump's avowed campaign against immigration, Democratic leaders throughout California - including the Democratic candidates for governor - had urged Brown to reject Trump's request for troops.
Trump wants thousands of guard troops to help with immigration enforcement until his promised U.S. -Mexico border wall is built. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Integration Robert G. Salesses said officials wanted 237 for service in two areas of California with "a set of mission responsibility there that California National Guard has indicated they will not perform".
"But I think we can find common understanding here, there's enough problems at the border and the interface between our countries, California will have plenty to do, and we're willing to do it".
Vitiello said that unlike in Operation Jump Start - when Guard soldiers deployed to the border in 2006 - the soldiers will not be placed in any support roles in which border patrolmen will serve as force protection. He said that federal authorities were grateful for the support that they have, and that they would continue the discussion with California for future phases of the operation to "see if those fit better with sort of the results as we know them now". General Daniel R. Hokanson, the National Guard Bureau's vice chief. He noted the presence of 50 California Guard troops now stationed near the Mexico border and hundreds more working on smuggling issues. An update to that report introduced a statement from Lt. Colonel Tom Keegan that "the federal government has not yet responded and added that the next step is for the federal government to respond by signing the Memorandum of Agreement". According to the three officials, there are not yet any troops on the southern border in California.
Talks between USA and California officials about the duties the California troops would perform soured Friday and over the weekend after state authorities told them they would not participate in the initial tasks proposed for California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the US officials said.
'The governor has determined that what we have asked for so far is unsupportable, ' Vitiello told reporters.
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