Gov. Jerry Brown agreed on Wednesday to expand the California National Guard’s efforts on crime and drug issues that cross the state’s border with Mexico, but insisted troops would not be used to enforce immigration directives from President Trump.
“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 and seeking a better life,” Brown wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. “And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”
The decision comes one week after the Trump administration asked governors in border states to provide Guard troops for assistance with the duties of Border Patrol agents.
But Brown suggested a very limited role for the 400 additional California troops, writing to Nielsen and Mattis that support operations would be focused on “targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state,” the Los Angeles Times reports.