Apr 20, 2018, 5:02 PM ET

DHS confirms agreement with California on Guard troops despite Trump objections


The Trump administration and California have reached an agreement that the state's National Guard will deploy only in support of the U.S. Border Patrol, according to a Homeland Security official, despite President Donald Trump complaining that the troops will "do nothing" and the federal government won't pay.

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California National Guard troops will support the Border Patrol with radio communications, motor transport operations, training administration operations, paralegal administration, planning, intelligence analysis, and surveillance camera operations and will not be involved in law enforcement, according to DHS, as is similar for all the state Guard troops being deployed.

"We are continuing to work closely with our federal partners to further refine the tasks within those categories," said Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan, Director of Public Affairs of the California National Guard on Friday.

This specific mission was agreed to on Thursday, according to the DHS official.

This comes after Trump slammed California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, tweeting on Thursday that the federal government "will not be paying for Governor Brown's charade," even though a press release from Brown Wednesday night had said he secured "the federal government's commitment to fund the mission."

"Governor Jerry Brown announced he will deploy “up to 400 National Guard Troops” to do nothing. The crime rate in California is high enough, and the Federal Government will not be paying for Governor Brown’s charade. We need border security and action, not words!," tweeted Trump on Thursday.

On Thursday afternoon, the California National Guard tweeted that it had “received written confirmation from the Pentagon" that it will continue to fund the mission and personnel consistent with the order issued by Brown.

And it followed up with, “In short, nothing has changed today.”

Brown's office re-tweeted the California National Guard's confirmation of funding.

Earlier in the week – on Wednesday – DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen thanked Brown and tweeted that the "final details" were being worked out.

On Friday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley responded to the back-and-forth.

"We are hearing that Governor Brown is now coordinating with DHS and DoD to identify National Guard missions that actually secure the border and protect American citizens. This is the type of action the President has called for and expects to see from the National Guard in this operation. This is especially vital in California because it has been suffering from such violence and crime caused by a porous border that is exploited by transnational criminal organizations, gangs and smugglers," said Gidley in a statement.

Brown's office declined to comment on that White House statement and pointed to the tweets from Thursday.

The head of the National Guard, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, testified on Tuesday before the Senate Appropriations Committee that the National Guard's 2018 budget will not cover the costs for these troops, so the Department of Defense is looking within its own department for that funding.

The cost of Guardsmen at the southwest border is about the same as that of Guardsmen serving elsewhere in the state, he added.

National Guard support is intended to free up Border Patrol Agents so they can conduct law enforcement activities at the border, including more agents, investigators, and prosecutors, as part of a multi-layered effort to target illicit networks trafficking in people, drugs, illegal weapons, and money, according to a DHS official.

The request for assistance that was signed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis a few weeks ago and authorizes states to deploy under what is known as Title 32 statues, according to DHS.

Guardsmen across all border states will not perform any federal, state, local or tribal enforcement functions and will not be employed in Border Patrol missions that place them in direct contact with personnel on the border nor will they be required to be armed to perform their assigned their CBP missions,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson on Monday.

While the Guardsmen won’t be required to be armed, it will be up to the individual states whether they will be armed for protection.

ABC News' Cindy Smith, Alex Mallin, Elizabeth McLaughlin and Meridith McGraw contributed to this story.

News - DHS confirms agreement with California on Guard troops despite Trump objections

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  • BannedSimplyForPosting230

    They will still do nothing, except escort illegals across the border.

  • Verity Pendelton

    Here. goes Trump again. Californians were smart enough not to vote for him, and he carries on his personal vendetta against the world's fifth largest economy. What a dolt.

  • Ronald Bandor

    In other words, Trump is full of it. Again. When will his gullible sheep learn that he's all smoke?

  • Thao D

    Mr.Brown has two million illegal immigration.He want three million people from the central America.MS-13 can control California for democrats.He can get more the taxes .There is more homeless on the streets.California is broken golden state and the climate is not worthy or the picture

  • jake

    Seems Trump is trying to force California to do border patrol for free while he sends them the bill for his wall that he promised everyone Mexico would pay for. What has Trump done? He's given himself a big tax break so he can go golfing on America's dime more often.

  • snake

    Jerry Brown is 80 years old & Trump is 71 but Brown is mentally & physically far more stable. Dementia makes a big difference.

  • mm

    I see the dispute, Governor Brown will deploy troops to the border to enforce drug trafficking and human trafficking etc, he will not have the troops stop immigrants from seeking a better life, and Governor Brown wants the feds to pay for it, but Trump wants troops to arrest illegal immigrants from crossing the border seeking to be here period and so Trump doesn't want to pay California if they aren't going to do that. Regardless of promises that California will be paid, Trump will not want to reimburse California unless the troops arrest anyone crossing the border. I think there is a conflict of interests that they need to face head on. Don't dance around the issue. Trump is on the losing end of this battle, we will stop crime but not enforce a job that border patrol is suppose to do.

  • Primo Veritas

    Yeah! Right, Donald! Basically you are paying them to do NOTHING. What part of the Constitution which states the National Guard cannot cannot be involved in law enforcement do you not understand? They can support border forces, but they can't be border forces.

  • Betty Bloop

    'the border' and 'california' are dog whistles for trump....
    he could have settled daca and had a new immigration bill (including border security) if he really wanted it but it would rob him of his most successful rallying cries and he'd have to dream up something new to stir up his base

  • InTheDogHouse

    So Trump isn’t happy that border security is being supported by the NG? Can he make his mind? What a miserable old man.

  • Prophet With Honor

    The troops will actually be of help in the specified roles. They will free CBP officers for direct enforcement activities.
    When my daughter deployed to the border in Texas in 06 she was a two-fer, she replaced two officers for a year.
    Trump doesn't get it.

  • Booderness

    Its confirmed that the California National Guard will stand at the border, join hands, and sing "Hands across America".

  • Jenna

    It annoys me how the idea of "state's rights" is such a fluid and inconsistent concept to certain people. If the feds want to "crack down" on illegal immigration, GREAT! Nobody's stopping them from doing their jobs. Problem is, they have to do said job with federal funding and cannot forcibly dragoon individual states into using their own resources to help out.

    If there aren't enough ICE agents to round up every undocumented immigrant, then just hire more. Oh, you can't afford it? Then maybe just stick to your word and go after the "bad hombres" instead of ambushing otherwise innocent families at hospitals and schools.

  • End of Life Ritual

    Why can't Trump just be happy that Brown is sending troops at all? One would think that he'd claim victory since he & Brown have been at odds over just about everything.

  • Prophet With Honor

    Trump doesn't get to have it both ways. More than that, he has no concept of how the system works.

  • Paul Iannello

    Boarder patrol will take care of the mexican rapist's dumpy..you just concentrate on fox & friends...and watch yer back...

  • drathvedar

    I swear I wish Trump would just shut up!

  • j tennum

    Love it. Trump says the Federal Government won't pay. Meanwhile, the Pentagon promised payment. Just ignore the Orange Cowardly Clown.
    Anyone who voted for him is as moronic as the President.

  • Dave12

    Trump plays shell games when it comes to money. He just likes to bluster. He was unable to manage his own business, and he cannot figure out the financial realities of government either. Unfortunately the republican party no longer cares about deficits, so the spending is on, and the rich will get richer.