Thirty California Democrats are calling on Governor Jerry Brown to remove the state’s 400 National Guard members from the U.S.-Mexico border because of President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” illegal immigration policy.
Brown deployed the Golden State’s National Guard troops to the border in April so long as they did not participate in enforcing immigration laws or constructing a border wall. In a letter dated June 22 and released on Monday, state Senator Kevin de Leon and 29 other Democrats called on Brown to “reconsider providing material support to federal agencies executing” the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” enforcement policy.
“While we appreciated the fact that your agreement to deploy California’s National Guard was conditioned to be focused primarily on improving public safety and not enforcing immigration law, we can no longer tolerate using our state resources to support government agencies detaining young children involuntarily ripped from their parents, many of whom were seeking refuge in accordance with national and international laws,” the letter reads. “Unless the Trump Administration abandons that unnecessary and cruel policy, we encourage you to rescind California’s Memorandum and Understanding with Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security and recall our National Guard’s men and women from the border.”
— Senator Kevin de León (@CAptEmeritus) June 26, 2018
The California Democrats add that “in this dark chapter of American history, California should not play any part in the irreparable trauma being [inflicted] upon thousands of young vulnerable children.”
“California must be clear and unequivocal in its opposition to such policies and should not be complicit in any manner in the indefinite incarceration of families and young children, particularly when less costly and more humane options exist,” the lawmakers continue.
Though governors from states like New York and Massachusetts reversed their National Guard commitments last week, Brown, who said in a January statement that breaking up families at the border is “callous” and “very insensitive,” did not follow suit and kept California’s National Guard troops at the border.