California has rejected the Trump administration’s initial plans for National Guard troops at the state's border with Mexico, arguing the work is too closely tied to immigration enforcement.
The Associated Press reports that California told federal officials it would not allow its troops to fix and repair vehicles, operate remotely controlled surveillance cameras to report suspicious activity, operate radios or provide “mission support.”
California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who has repeatedly come in President Trump’s political crosshairs, received rare praise from the president last week after he agreed to installing 400 troops in the National Guard’s third large-scale border mission since 2006.
“California Governor Jerry Brown is doing the right thing and sending the National Guard to the Border. Thank you, Jerry, good move for the safety of our Country!” Trump tweeted last week.
But Brown reportedly insisted that California’s troops have nothing to do with immigration enforcement. It is unclear at this point what specific jobs the troops would, or would not, perform at the border.
California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan told the Associated Press on Monday that the state was awaiting a formal response from the Trump administration.
Talks between the U.S. and California officials about the duties California troops would perform, according to the Associated Press, soured over the weekend after California officials told the Trump administration they would not participate in vehicle maintenance and other initial jobs across the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
Other border state governors, though, have supported Trump’s plans to deploy the National Guard to the border.
Brown last week characterized his decision to contribute troops as a welcome infusion of federally funded support to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers. According to one U.S. official, the California Guard has suggested assigning about 40 troops to marijuana eradication across the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.