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Gov. Brown Mum On Trump's National Guard Deployment, But Lawmakers Start To Speak Up

Office of Representative Phil Gingrey / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S.-Mexico border fence near El Paso, Texas.

Office of Representative Phil Gingrey / Wikimedia Commons

Every border state governor has embraced President Trump’s requested deployment of National Guard troops to the Mexican border — except in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown remained quiet Thursday for a second straight day.

The governor’s office says Brown has discussed the deployment twice this week with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. But other than that, no comment.

California lawmakers, however, are starting to speak out.

Republican Sen. Joel Anderson says it’s a reasonable request that California should comply with – but he’s not holding his breath, given Brown’s past actions defending immigrants.

“The governor has made this his cause célèbre, and so I suspect he’ll continue to fight the Trump administration every way he can,” he says.

Democratic Sen. Kevin de León, the author of the ”sanctuary state” law that’s drawn a legal challenge from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, acknowledges California has complied with similar request in the past, but says Trump’s request should be rejected.

“Unlike George W. Bush and Barack Obama, whether you agreed or disagreed with their political policies, there never was a sense of this president could provoke a war,” he says.

State Senate and Assembly leaders from both parties are all declining to weigh in, citing a lack of information about the president’s deployment request.

When a president seeks to deploy the National Guard under Title 32 of federal law, as Trump's proclamation cites, each state's governor can accept or reject the request.

The Republican governors of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona have each signaled their willingness to participate.

The only official comment from the Brown administration, however, has come from the California National Guard. It said Wednesday that Trump's request “will be promptly reviewed to determine how best we can assist our federal partners. We look forward to more detail, including funding, duration and end state.“

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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