California rejects Trump administration plan for National Guard troops on border


California rejects Trump administration plan for National Guard troops on border

Brown's office was noncommittal about how numerous 400 additional guardsmen would be sent to the border, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

According to two U.S. officials, the initial jobs for those troops include fixing and maintaining vehicles, using remote-control surveillance cameras to report suspicious activity to U.S. Border Patrol agents, operating radios and providing "mission support", which can include clerical work, buying gas and handling payrolls. It is unclear at this point what specific jobs the troops would, or would not, perform at the border.

Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan said Monday afternoon that "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'".

President Donald Trump's administration's initial plan for the Guard deployment involves too much immigration-related work, California said, according to The Associated Press, which cited two US officials with knowledge of the discussions.

California is at the forefront of what opponents call the "Resistance" to Trump's administration, with the heavily Democratic state suing the federal government over numerous issues, including the rollback of environmental regulations.

Ron Vitiello, the acting deputy commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, said Brown had declined the initial roles put forward for Guardsmen.

"We are anticipating additional requirements, and we got a signal from California that they are interested in improving border security", Vitiello said. But the Governor's office told ABC7 News that they have not rejected anything and nothing has changed since Brown wrote a letter to feds last week.

But the Democratic Brown conditioned his support by insisting that California's troops have nothing to do with immigration enforcement. Drawing that line will likely prove hard because the Border Patrol combats illegal immigration but also drug smuggling and other crimes.

Members of the Arizona National Guard listen to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on April 9, 2018 at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix, Arizona.

Brown last week characterized his decision to contribute troops as a welcome infusion of federally funded support to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers. The Arizona National Guard said last week that its troops will provide air and ground support. Texas has seen the biggest deployment, with 650 sent to the border, while Arizona has dispatched 250, and New Mexico about 60.