Gov. Jerry Brown Says Trump Administration Will Fund His National Guard Mission — Without Immigration Duties
Gov. Jerry Brown formally mobilized 400 California National Guard members Wednesday for transnational crime-fighting duties, thus preventing any effort by President Trump to have the troops focus on immigration enforcement on the Mexican border.
The governor announced that federal officials have agreed to fund the plan he announced last week — a mission to “combat criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers” in locations around California, including near the border. The order Brown signed makes clear that the troops will not be allowed to perform a broader set of duties as envisioned by Trump’s recent comments.
“California National Guard service members shall not engage in any direct law enforcement role nor enforce immigration laws, arrest people for immigration law violations, guard people taken into custody for alleged immigration violations, or support immigration law enforcement activities,” the order read.
The cost of the mission, a spokesman for Brown said, will be paid directly by the federal government. No initial estimate has been made, as the exact amount will depend on exactly how the troops will be used.
Though the duties of California Guard members were outlined last week, the state had been waiting for an agreement by federal officials to pay for the operations. Since that time, the president has taken Brown and the state to task over its decision to avoid any immigration-related duties at the border. On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted, “Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!”
There is a Revolution going on in California. Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!
“Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
There was no immediate reaction from the White House to Brown’s announcement.
On Tuesday, Brown told reporters in Washington that his plan was consistent with a safer border. “That sounds to me like fighting crime,” the governor said. “Trying to catch some desperate mothers and children, or unaccompanied minors coming from Central America, that sounds like something else.”
The order Brown issued Wednesday after returning from a brief trip to talk climate change in Toronto and to speak to a national trade union and visit with reporters in Washington is set to expire at the end of September. It specifically says no Guard service member may participate in a mission that would “exceed the mission scope and limitations” related to transnational crime activity. It also says troops cannot help build “any new border barrier.”
5:27 p.m.: This article was updated with information related to the cost of the Guard mission and Brown’s trip to Washington.