Trump Says Feds Won’t Pay for California National Guard ‘Charade’

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California Governor Jerry Brown speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. REUTERS/Mike Segar

One day after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the deployment of 400 National Guard troops to “fight transnational crime” but not to enforce immigration laws at the Mexican border, President Donald Trump Thursday called the move a “charade” that the federal government won’t pay for.

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“Governor Jerry Brown announced he will deploy `up to 400 National Guard troops’ to do nothing,” Trump wrote on his Twitter page. “The crime rate in California is high enough, and the federal government will not be paying for Governor Brown’s charade. We need border security and action, not words!”

Brown, a Democrat, announced Wednesday that the federal government had committed to paying for the troop deployment as part of Trump’s previous call for National Guard presence along the border. Republican governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have already deployed an estimated 1,600 troops to the border — a move Trump called an interim step while he works to get funding for his proposed border wall.

Brown, however, put strict limits on the National Guard troops. His deployment order states that the troops “shall not engage in any direct law enforcement role nor enforce immigration laws, arrest people for immigration law violations, guard people taken into custody for alleged immigration violations or support immigration law enforcement activities.”

“California Guard service members shall not participate in the construction of any new border barrier,” according to the order.

Instead, the troops will be added to the state’s effort to fight transnational crime, an effort that already includes 250 National Guard troops statewide. According to the governor’s office, the newly deployed troops would also be deployed across the state, leaving a question about how many would actually be sent to the border, as Trump had requested.

“The location of Guard personnel — and number specifically working in support of operations within the state, along the coast and at the U.S.- Mexico border — will continue to be dictated by the needs on the ground,” according to the governor’s office.

In response to Trump’s Thursday morning Twitter post, Brown’s office pointed to a message — also on Twitter — posted Thursday afternoon Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, who wrote, “Just spoke (with Brown) about deploying the (National Guard) in California. Final details are being worked out but we are looking forward to the support. Thank you Gov. Brown!”

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Trump also took a Thursday morning shot at California’s sanctuary state law, which was supported by Brown, thanking the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for its vote this week supporting the federal government’s lawsuit challenging the measure.

“Thank you San Diego County for defending the rule of law and supporting our lawsuit against California’s illegal and unconstitutional `sanctuary’ policies,” Trump wrote. “California’s dangerous policies release violent criminal back into our communities, putting all Americans at risk.”

—City News Service

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