North Carolina governor recalls National Guard troops from border over family separation

North Carolina governor recalls National Guard troops from border over family separation
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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced Tuesday that he would recall three members of the National Guard deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border over the Trump administrations "zero tolerance" policy for illegal immigration.

Cooper tweeted that the policy, which has resulted in the separations of thousands of undocumented children from their families, was "cruel" and required a "strong response."

"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," the governor tweeted.

Local media reports confirm that North Carolina's entire Guard deployment to the border consists of three troops and a helicopter, as the state was not one of the primary states asked to mobilize for Trump's effort to secure the border earlier this year.

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Cooper's announcement comes on the heels of similar statements from the governors of other states, including New York, Colorado, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maryland, who all recalled or stated that their states' Guard resources would not be mobilized for the operation this week.

“Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border,” Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wrote on Twitter earlier Tuesday.

“Earlier this morning, I ordered our 4 crewmembers & helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico.”

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The decisions from Cooper and other governors come amid bipartisan calls in Congress for the Trump administration to end the policy of separating families while Congress debates a permanent solution to the immigration crisis. Members of the Trump administration, including Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign MORE, have stated that the policy is supposed to serve as a deterrent to discourage illegal immigration.

“We need to better enforce our immigration laws, but we can do so while keeping parents and children together. I believe my bill will help do that,” said Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsNegotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts Lawmakers aim for COVID-19 relief deal this week On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again MORE (R-N.C.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, who introduced a bill to suspend the process Tuesday.

A number of other lawmakers in both parties have introduced  — or are planning — bills to suspend the practice, including Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks Mini-exodus of Trump officials from Commerce to lobby on semiconductors Doug Collins questions Loeffler's trustworthiness in first TV ad MORE (D-Calif.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Democrats prepare seven-figure spending spree in Texas On The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy MORE (R-Texas) and John CornynJohn CornynNegotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts The Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war GOP expects Senate to be in session next week without coronavirus deal MORE (R-Texas.).

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump's acting ICE chief to leave post Trump's fight with city leaders escalates Neo-Nazi pleads guilty to 'swatting' Black church, Cabinet official, journalists MORE forcefully defended the zero-tolerance policy during a Monday White House press briefing, calling on Congress to solve the issue.

“Congress and the courts created this system, and Congress alone can fix it," she said Monday.

Updated: 6:05 p.m.