More governors are refusing to send National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border in protest of the Trump administration’s policy of separating families.
On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland recalled a National Guard helicopter and four crew members from service in New Mexico.
“Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border,” Hogan said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border. Earlier this morning, I ordered our 4 crewmembers & helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico. https://t.co/TEfkUXF7ZN— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) June 19, 2018
Hogan joins Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, also a Republican, in withholding National Guard support because of the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Approximately 2,300 children were separated from their parents between May 5 and June 9, according to new statistics from the Department of Homeland Security.
The Trump administration signed a proclamation in April to have states send National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border. Most serve in support roles and aren’t armed or authorized to arrest migrants. Previous administrations, including Obama and Bush, deployed National Guard troops to assist at the border, so Trump’s request wasn’t remarkable for a US president — though a policy pursuing family separation is.
Baker’s office said Monday that the governor would not comply with the administration’s request to send National Guard troops to the border because of the “inhumane treatment of children.”
Hogan and Baker are both Republican governors facing reelection in blue states where Trump is deeply unpopular, though family separation at the border has inspired rare bipartisan pushback against the administration. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are introducing legislation to stop family separation at the border — though, so far, no consensus has emerged.
Democratic governors hadn’t exactly warmed to Trump’s request for National Guard troops at the border in April, but many more have now pledged that they won’t deploy personnel so long as the family separation policy remains in place.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said Tuesday he was withdrawing one helicopter and four crew members from service on the border, saying “we have a responsibility to stand up to policies or actions that run afoul of the values that define us as Americans.”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) is recalling 4 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and one helicopter from the U.S.-Mexico border over the Trump admin's "zero tolerance" policy— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) June 19, 2018
MD Gov. Larry Hogan (R) recalled the exact same number of soldiers/helicopters earlier today pic.twitter.com/mEDHnEj0sk
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, also a Democrat, signed an executive order Monday that banned state resources from being used toward supporting the separation of children from their parents because of immigration status, except in cases where a child is at risk.
And the Democratic governors of Delaware, Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Connecticut put out statements condemning family and separation or rejecting the administration’s request to send National Guard troops.
The cruel policy of tearing children away from their parents requires a strong response, and I am recalling the three members of the North Carolina National Guard from the border. - RC— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) June 19, 2018
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined his counterparts and said the state wouldn’t send troops to the southern border because of the “unconscionable treatment of families.” Cuomo, a Democrat, also announced on Tuesday that the state would sue the Trump administration for the treatment of families, saying multiple federal agencies are violating the constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families.
Most of the National Guard commitments among the states that have balked appear to be fairly small — equipment and a few personnel. Border states such as Texas have more robust deployments; Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged up to 1,400 troops, and Arizona deployed more than 300 National Guard members after Trump’s initial request. And some states are still going ahead and deploying the National Guard; Wisconsin is deploying two dozen members to Arizona by the end of this week, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.