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Oregon Gov. to Trump: I Refuse to Send National Guard Troops to Mexican Border

Kate Brown
AP Photo/Don Ryan

The governor of Oregon announced Wednesday that she would refuse any attempt from President Trump to send National Guard troops to protect the Mexican border after the president announced his intention to beef up border patrol operations.

“If @realDonaldTrump asks me to deploy Oregon Guard troops to the Mexico border, I’ll say no. As Commander of Oregon’s Guard, I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border,” Brown tweeted Wednesday.

“There’s been no outreach by the President or federal officials,” she added, insisting that she has “no intention of allowing Oregon’s guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington.”

Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday directing Defense Secretary James Mattis to “request use of National Guard personnel to assist” with the Department of Homeland Security Department’s existing efforts to secure the border.

The president is allowed to call on National Guard units under two different laws passed by Congress in 1956.

Under U.S. Code Title 10, Trump could “federalize” the Guard, ordering federally-funded National Guard troops under the Defense Secretary’s control to report for “active duty.”

But Trump invoked U.S. Code Title 32 in his proclamation, which directs state governors to order the Guard to report “for operational Homeland Defense” duties.

Under Title 32, state governors can ignore or refuse the president’s order. While Brown has authority to deny Trump’s request under Title 32, the president can invoke his authority to send the National Guard to the Mexican border under other provisions.

Unlike Brown, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed Trump’s proclamation.

Abbott, whose state borders Mexico, announced Wednesday that Texas would comply with the National Guard order, adding that since he became governor, “Texas has maintained a continuous presence of National Guard members along the border.”

Oregon is more than 1,000 miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border, but the state has seen an unprecedented number of drug cartels operating in the state over the past few years. In 2015, federal authorities busted a drug trafficking operation that took place in Oregon, Texas, and California, and many of the defendants, in that case, were illegal aliens.

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