California’s Jerry Brown just blindsided Trump with surprise reversal on border troops

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President Trump’s rare praise for Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown turns out to have been premature, as Brown today reversed course on sending the state’s National Guard to patrol the Mexican border. 

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When Trump praised Brown four days ago he purposely ignored the conditions that California’s longest-serving Governor was putting on the agreement to cooperate.

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Trump conveniently ignore the part of Brown’s agreement where he said the role of California guardsmen explicitly bans any support of immigration enforcement. 

Brown said California soldiers would not be allowed to guard anyone in custody for immigration violations or participate in the construction of border barriers.

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Brown was agreeing to send 400 members of the National Guard as a way to combat human trafficking, firearms, and drug smuggling.

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Trump also ignored the part of Brown’s message that stated that the governor believes that there is no out of control illegal border crossing problem since Border Patrol arrests were at the lowest level they’ve been since 1971, with California accounting for only 15 percent of the arrests made along the Mexican border.

“Here are the facts,” Brown wrote to Trump and his cabinet members, “there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California.”

Now Brown has reversed course and will not send the National Guard to the border after learning how they were to be used. 

“California told federal officials last week it will not allow its troops to fix and repair vehicles,” reports the Associated Press, “operate remotely-controlled surveillance cameras and perform other tasks under a Trump plan to send troops to the border.”

Many Democrats were against Brown’s decision to send troops in response to Trump’s call. Former Sen. Kevin de Leon, the author of the successful legislation that made California a sanctuary state and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, called the guard deployment “unnecessary” and stated that he was “confident Gov. Brown will not use our National Guard to harass or tear apart immigrant families.”

Immigration advocates were shocked by Brown’s actions and strongly opposed the decision, reports NBC News. 

Lillian Serrano, chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, said Brown’s setting limits on the Guards role “reflected “flawed logic that we need more boots on the ground.”

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Pedro Rios, director for the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S.-Mexico border program in San Diego, said if Brown is in conflict with Trump over immigration policy then there are no “justifications for having the National Guard on the border.”

Now instead of boosting Trump’s agenda, Brown has left Trump looking foolish.

Having failed to get Mexico to pay for his wall, and having Congress refuse to allocate funds to build the wall, Trump turned to this unnecessary call-up of civilians who serve in the National Guard reserve to take the focus off his failures, and now Brown has put his plans back into the context of a bad idea for the wrong reasons. 

Other governors, notably Republicans in Arizona and Texas, are going along with Trump but the nation’s largest state is now refusing Trump’s request, just as it is battling Trump’s Justice Department in the courts over its refusal to cooperate with the massive arrest of undocumented aliens.

Let’s see if Trump has a tweet for Brown now that their positions have reverted to form.

Benjamin Locke

Benjamin Locke is a retired college professor with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Labor and Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from the European School of Management.

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