California rejects Trump administration plan for National Guard troops on border

Texas Military Department

Ronald Vitiello, the Border Patrol's acting deputy commissioner, said talks with California were ongoing and it was possible the state would lend troops for other support roles, including maritime and aerial surveillance, which include counternarcotics work.

"The federal government has not yet responded", Keegan said in an emailed statement.

The state of California has rejected the terms of the Trump administration's initial request to deploy National Guard troops along the border with Mexico, U.S. military officials and the head of the Border Patrol said Monday, the latest sign of persistent tension with the White House over immigration enforcement.

Talks between the US 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.

California is at the forefront of what opponents call the "Resistance" to Trump's administration, with the heavily Democratic state suing the federal government over numerous issues, including the rollback of environmental regulations.

Jerry Brown elicited rare and effusive praise from President Donald Trump last week after he pledged 400 troops to the Guard's third large-scale border mission since 2006. State insiders with knowledge of the talks spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. According to one US official, the California Guard has suggested assigning about 40 troops to marijuana eradication across the state. Drawing that line will likely prove hard because the Border Patrol combats illegal immigration but also drug smuggling and other crimes.

Trump wants to send up to 4,000 troops to the border and has commitments for about 2,400 from those states and California. The other border-state governors have openly embraced the Trump administration's plan, pledging combined deployment of about 1,600 Guard members along the southern borders of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

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. General Daniel R. Hokanson, the National Guard Bureau's vice chief. About 900 Guard troops have deployed so far, a National Guard commander said Monday: 650 in Texas, 250 in Arizona and 60 in New Mexico.

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