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California ready to deploy troops to border, governor says, despite Trump's tweet

California ready to deploy troops to border, governor says, despite Trump's tweet

California's governor says he's finally reached an agreement with the Trump administration to send his state's National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border - but they'll work on fighting gangs and drug and gun smugglers.

Mr. Brown's order came after days of discussions with the Trump administration about what role California troops would serve to help the U.S. Border Patrol.

Brown announced last week he would deploy the troops, but said they would be stationed "statewide" as part of an ongoing effort to "combat transnational crime", and they would not be enforcing federal immigration laws. Republican governors in the border states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have already deployed a combined 1,600 National Guard troops to the Mexican border.

The Guard troops will not be required to carry weapons and will not make arrests, but Brown has insisted on an additional limitation: that the California Guard refrain from participation in any immigration enforcement activities. "But I think we can find common understanding here".

The Republican governors of the other US states bordering Mexico responded eagerly last week to Trump's call for as many as 4,000 troops. Troops from Texas are already doing aerial and ground surveillance to assist the Border Patrol.

He had originally elicited rare and effusive praise from the president last week after he said he would participate in the Guard's third large-scale border mission since 2006.

"The federal government has not yet responded", Keegan said in an emailed statement. Drawing that line will likely prove hard because the Border Patrol combats illegal immigration but also drug smuggling and other crimes.

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

Just last week Brown sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, pledging to send up to 400 members of the National Guard with the help of federal funding but made it a point to set boundaries.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning that "Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the border, but the people of the state are not happy". The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. The governor cast his decision as a welcome infusion of support paid for by the USA government to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers. Almost 250 were in Arizona, more than 60 in New Mexico and about 650 in Texas.



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