California gov accepts funding to add National Guard troops, blasts Trump over immigration

California gov accepts funding to add National Guard troops, blasts Trump over immigration
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California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Wednesday accepted federal funding to add National Guard troops to his state while blasting President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE over his immigration policies.

Brown wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenActing DHS secretary says he expects Russia to attempt to interfere in 2020 elections House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena Trump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report MORE that the California National Guard would accept federal funding to add "approximately 400 Guard members statewide to supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime."

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“But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission," Brown wrote. "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. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws."

The guardsmen are being added as part of Trump’s plan announced last week for the military to shore up the southern border until his administration builds his long-proposed wall there.

Mattis followed that up by issuing a memo Friday night that authorized up to 4,000 National Guard troops to support the Department of Homeland Security’s border security mission.

The troops have been barred from interacting with migrants or any people that Border Patrol agents detain, and would not be armed unless necessary for self-protection.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has since said his state will send 338 of its guardsmen, while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Monday that he would increase the number of troops the state will send to the border from 250 to at least 1,000.

Brown also contests Trump’s long-pushed claims that immigrants are “pouring” over the Mexican border.

“Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California,” Brown asserts.

“Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years (and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California).”

U.S. Border Patrol has assessed that 303,916 immigrant apprehensions took place along the Southwest border in 2017, the lowest it’s been since 1971 and down from a high of 1.64 million in 2000.

Brown says the additional federal funding will instead “allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state.”

The California Guard program currently employs 250 personnel, including 55 at the California border with Mexico.

The state’s guardsmen provided “targeted assistance” in 2006 under then-President George W. Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

Bush had sent 6,000 Guard troops while Obama sent 1,200.

Updated: 4:31 p.m.