Mark Krikorian: Americans Misinformed About National Guard

Alicia Farmer
April 12, 2018

He sent a defiant letter to the Trump administration on Wednesday, saying the additional troops will only supplement the staffing of California's ongoing program to combat transnational crime.

The Democrat said the California troops will not help build a wall or "detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life".

Instead, they'll join 250 other National Guard troops tasked with combating drug crimes, gun smuggling and human trafficking.

The new contingent of California Guard members being deployed could be posted at the border, the coast and elsewhere statewide, Brown said.

He says another 112 of the 338 troops that Arizona has committed to Trump's operation will provide border air support, such as flying helicopters, from a base in the town of Marana near Tucson.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights responded to Brown's announcement and said they agree that the National Guard "will not be used as an extension of President Trump's deportation machine".

Border states Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico have already accepted the move.

She had planned to get a firsthand look Thursday at the work being done to replace existing vehicle barriers with what is being billed as part of President Donald Trump's border wall.

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The California Guard program now employs 250 personnel, including 55 at the California border with Mexico.

The number of people caught trying to illegally cross the U.S. -Mexico border a year ago was the lowest since 1971, according to the federal Department of Homeland Security.

At that time, he added, the federal government will determine whether it has the budget and whether the mission is necessary to continue.

A spokesman for Brown said the location and assignment of troops would "be dictated by the needs on the ground".

Brown was the holdout, and his letter pushed back at administration officials' claims that the United States faces a crisis at the border.

In his letter, Brown declared that "there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California", contrary to assertions by some of Trump's supporters.

About 250 California National Guard troops are already participating, including 55 at the border. "Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they've been in almost 50 years, and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California". He added those were the same reasons he agreed to similar targeted assistance from President Bush and Obama in past years.

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