Trump administration officials may hope to send between 2,000 and 4,000 National Guard troops to secure the southern U.S. border “immediately,” but that plan requires cooperation from state governors, and not all of them are clamoring to assist.
Trump signed a memorandum Wednesday evening declaring U.S. security is at risk due to a "drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border.”
"The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis. The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My Administration has no choice but to act," the memorandum reads.
The Republican-controlled border states of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas showed enthusiasm for the recently signed plan, while Oregon plans to ignore it. In Nevada, lawmakers are speaking out against it. And California, a Democratic state embroiled in multiple lawsuits with the Trump administration, told VICE News on Wednesday it was reviewing the plan and awaiting more information.
“This request – as with others we’ve received from the Department of Homeland Security, including those for additional staffing in 2006 and 2010 – will be promptly reviewed to determine how best we can assist our federal partners,” Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan said, speaking on behalf of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration. “We look forward to more detail, including funding, duration, and end state.”
Mike Lonergan, a spokesperson for New Mexico’s Gov. Susan Martinez told CNN on Thursday the governor "fully” backs the New Mexico National Guard "in any mission — state or federal, at home or abroad."
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also expressed his support for the plan spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security, thanking DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Twitter for the support.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had a similar reaction, saying in a statement that he welcomed the support and that Trump’s plan “reinforces Texas’ longstanding commitment to secure our southern border and uphold the Rule of Law.”
Oregon, on the other hand, intends to actively resist the measure. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, whose state hasn’t yet been contacted by federal officials, said she wouldn’t allow Oregon Guard troops to be deployed to the Mexican border.
Nevada’s Gov. Brian Sandoval also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he didn’t think deploying the National Guard to the border would be an appropriate use of the force. He was joined by Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, who sent a letter to Gov. Sandoval saying, “While previous administrations have deployed National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, I believe in this instance the timing is rushed and the justification is politically motivated.”
The Trump administration is mobilizing the plan under Title 32, which means the troops are federally funded but under state command. Both Presidents Bush and Obama enacted similar deployments during their presidencies.