Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

California Rejects Border Duties for Troops

California Rejects Border Duties for Troops

Salesses was clear that the troops deployed to the border states "would not perform law enforcement functions" and would "not be placed in direct contact with personnel coming to the border".

State officials have not rejected anything since the governor responded to the federal government last Wednesday with the proposed "Memorandum of Agreement Between the State of California and the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security". Jerry Brown rejected terms of the National Guard's initial deployment to the Mexican border, but a state official said nothing was decided.

But the Democratic leader conditioned his support on troops having nothing to do with immigration enforcement.

Two federal officials said the state made the decision due to the work being closely related to immigration enforcement, according to AP.

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Just how limited became clearer Monday after California's National Guard told Homeland Security officials the state will not allow soldiers to do the types of things they're doing elsewhere on the border: monitoring surveillance cameras, performing maintenance and transporting USA border agents. The next step is for the federal government to respond by signing the memorandum of agreement.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Integration Robert G. Salesses says there is no estimate for the operation's cost, which is funded by the US government.

'The California National Guard has indicated that they will not perform those missions as we know them to be right now, ' Salesses said, though he noted that conversations were ongoing. That's because California guardsmen are to be sent not only to the border but to the Pacific coast and interior locations "throughout the state", Brown said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. "So, at some point that might come together".

New government funding for the country would go into "support surgeries targeting prohibited firearm, individual traffickers and multinational gangs and drug smugglers along the border and throughout the country", the correspondence read. Drawing that line will likely prove hard because the Border Patrol combats illegal immigration but also drug smuggling and other crimes.

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Trump wants to send up to 4,000 troops to the border and has commitments for about 2,400 from those states and California.

Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, though, have embraced Mr. Trump's call.

Title 32 status is full-time duty other than inactive duty performed by a member of the National Guard. The Arizona National Guard said last week that its troops will provide air and ground support.

Brown sought to avoid the perception that he had capitulated: Washington pays the bill, Brown retains command of the troops and the Guard's mission will not include stopping illegal border crossings. General Daniel R. Hokanson, the National Guard Bureau's vice chief. The other border-state governors have all embraced Trump's plans, with Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas pledging nearly half of the up to 4,000 troops Trump requested.

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