California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday that he will be deploying “up to 400” members of the National Guard “to combat” criminal activity — after President Donald Trump slammed the Democratic leader a day before for “trying to back out” of an earlier pledge he made.
Brown issued an order that the National Guard be sent to help “combat criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers — within the state, along the coast and at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
However, the governor sent military personnel on the condition that “the California National Guard will not enforce immigration laws or participate in the construction of any new border barrier.”
The cost of the California Guard's mission would be financed by the federal government, Brown's office told the Los Angeles Times, adding that the dollar amount would be determined by how the troops are deployed.
“Service members 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,” the order reads. “California National Guard service members shall not participate in the construction of any new border barrier.”
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.
“Let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission,” his letter reads. “This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”
Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to call out Brown for “trying to back out of the National Guard at the border.”
The language of the order and Brown’s letter detail the ongoing battle between the state of California and the Trump administration over federal immigration policy.
A string of local governments throughout the state of California has backed the Trump administration’s decision to sue the state last month over its sanctuary city law, arguing that the federal government, not the state, has authority over immigration policy.
Brown said Tuesday that Washington’s tough stance against immigrants in the country illegally is “just an inflammatory football that very low-life politicians like to exploit.”