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.
Interested in Immigration?Add Immigration as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Immigration news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
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.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 19, 2018
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.
At approx 11:30am PDT today, we received written confirmation from the Pentagon that it'll continue to fund the @theCaGuard mission & personnel mobilized to combat transnat'l crime consistent w/the order issued by @JerryBrownGov - & agreement announced w/the fed gov't - yesterday https://t.co/ipybWycSET— CaliforniaGuard (@theCaGuard) April 19, 2018
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