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.

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“Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border,” Maryland's Republican Gov.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

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 SessionsTrump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question 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 MeadowsLawmakers request documents on DC councilman ethics investigation House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran 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 FeinsteinTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (D-Calif.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz calls for 'every penny' of El Chapo's criminal enterprise to be used for Trump's wall after sentencing Conservatives defend Chris Pratt for wearing 'Don't Tread On Me' T-shirt Google official denies allegations of ties to China MORE (R-Texas) and John CornynJohn CornynDemocratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal MORE (R-Texas.).

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele Nielsen Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities Chuck Todd on administration vacancies: 'Is this any way to run a government?' 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.