President Donald Trump on Tuesday took aim at California Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to limit his state’s National Guard troops’ mission at the border.
“Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border,” the president tweeted. “He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”
Brown said he would not permit soldiers to fully engage in immigration enforcement on the border, which is a big snag in Trump’s plan to bolster military presence at the boundary as he awaits construction of his long-promised wall.
The Republican governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are already on board with Trump’s National Guard demand, and have moved quickly to draw up deployment action plans.
The Trump administration said Monday that California had rejected the terms for troop deployment set out by the president.
“The governor determined that what we asked for is unsupportable, but we will have other iterations,” Ronald Vitiello, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting deputy commissioner, said Monday.
Brown had said last week that he would deploy the troops, but that they would not serve in an immigration-enforcement role.
Meanwhile, the AP reports that California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan said “state officials have not rejected anything” since Brown proposed a formal agreement Wednesday with the Homeland Security and Defense Departments that prohibits any involvement in immigration.
“The federal government has not yet responded,” Keegan told the news organization.
The White House and the California National Guard did not respond immediately to CNBC’s request for comment.
Last week Trump praised Gov. Brown’s pledge to send 400 troops to the border.
“California Governor Jerry Brown is doing the right thing and sending the National Guard to the Border,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you Jerry, good move for the safety of our Country!”
Currently, the Guard has approximately 900 troops working on the border mission with nearly 250 in Arizona, more than 60 in New Mexico and about 650 in Texas.
Earlier this month, Trump said that he wants to send as many as 4,000 National Guard troops to the border until his proposed wall is built, but the scope, cost and duration of the plan are still largely up in the air.
Building a border wall, and having Mexico pay for it, was one of Trump’s key pitches to his nationalist voter base during the 2016 campaign. But since he hasn’t been able to secure the approximately $25 billion in funding he desires for the wall, Trump is instead pushing for heightened military presence at the border.
“Until we can have a wall and proper security we’re going to be guarding our border with the military. That’s a big step,” the president has said.
As of yet, U.S. officials have provided few logistical details for carrying out Trump’s orders.