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“Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border,” Maryland's Republican Gov.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 SessionsSessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller 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 MeadowsTop Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony Watchdog report finds FBI not motivated by political bias in Trump probe The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment 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 FeinsteinHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence Life after Yucca Mountain: The time has come to reset US nuclear waste policy Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick MORE (D-Calif.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBarr: 'I haven't looked into' whether Ukraine meddled in 2016 election Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference MORE (R-Texas) and John CornynJohn CornynLighthizer starts GOP charm offensive on Trump trade deal Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence GOP senators worry Trump made 'problematic' concessions in trade deal MORE (R-Texas.).

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report Hillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Minority lawmakers call out Google for hiring former Trump DHS official 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.