Citing one U.S. official, the Associated Press reported on Monday that the California Guard has suggested assigning about 40 troops to marijuana eradication across the state.
California’s National Guard is federally funded and is part of the wider U.S. National Guard.
In addition with another U.S. official, the Associated Press learned from them that California rejected on Monday the federal government’s initial plans for sending the National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration enforcement.
The two, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, have knowledge of the talks exchanged between California as state and the federal government.
The state told federal officials it will not allow its troops to fix and repair vehicles, operate remotely-controlled surveillance cameras to report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, operate radios and provide “mission support,” which can include clerical work, buying gas and handling payroll.
Brown Pledge 400 Troops
However, California Gov. Jerry Brown had already pledged 400 troops to the Guard’s third large-scale border mission since 2006. This made him receive rare and effusive praise from President Donald Trump last week.
Brown last week characterized his decision to contribute troops as a welcome infusion of federally-funded support to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers.
The governor‘s commitment allowed Trump to boast support from all four border-state governors and helped put the president above the lower end of his threshold of marshalling 2,000 to 4,000 troops that he wants as a border security mission to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
But the Democratic Brown conditioned his support by insisting that California’s troops have nothing to do with immigration enforcement.
(With the Associated Press)