California National Guard troops will continue their mission at the U.S. southern border as of Tuesday, a spokesperson for Gov. Jerry Brown’s office told the Palm Springs Desert Sun.
Some Democrats had called on Brown to rescind the troops in light of media and activist uproar over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on the border, which had resulted in the separation of arrested illegal alien adults from children.
But Brown has no immediate plans to pull troops from the border. The troops were sent earlier this year at the request of President Donald Trump. Their responsibilities are not related to direct federal immigration law enforcement.
“We’ll continue to assess and review this, just as we have since personnel were originally mobilized back in April,” a Brown spokesperson told the Desert Sun in a Tuesday email. Brown has been clear that the troops would not be participating in building a border wall, making arrests, or detaining people. The spokesperson reiterated Brown’s statements from January calling separating families “callous” and “very insensitive.”
State Sen. Kevin De Léon (D-Los Angeles), who is challenging incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in November, is invoking the issue in his campaign, calling on Brown in a letter to pull the state’s National Guard troops from border duty. De Léon claims that the Trump administration is using children to advance a political agenda, and accuses the administration of being “racist” and “inhumane.”
Speaking out against government-sanctioned kidnapping and child abuse is not a partisan issue. Republican and Democrat governors from eight different states have pledged to withdraw their National Guard support. I hope #CA joins their ranks very soon. https://t.co/0QgfIoonpT
— Kevin de Leόn (@kdeleon) June 20, 2018
De Léon acknowledged that the troops’ mission at the border is improving public safety, and not enforcing immigration law, but he still called on Brown to pull the National Guard troops back from their mission. He noted that other Democrat governors had done the same.
Democrat Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia whose district lays in southeastern California, heralded outrage over the zero tolerance border policy, but according to the Desert Sun report, admitted that the National Guard troop presence at California’s southern border “is a very limited function.” He said that he is “OK with the role that the State of California has put forward to have the National Guard there. They have absolutely no involvement in what’s happening with the separation of families.”
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