- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an order Wednesday deploying National Guard troops to the border, making good on his promise to support President Trump’s request but on his own terms.

Mr. Brown said up to 400 troops will help Homeland Security go after criminal gangs, human smugglers, drug traffickers and illegal firearms, but they will not be engaged in direct assistance in nabbing illegal immigrants. They also won’t help build Mr. Trump’s border wall.

He said troops will be deployed by the end of this month, and will be on duty at least through the end of the fiscal year, which closes Sept. 30.

Not all of the troops will be headed to the actual border, officials said. Their exact duties will be dictated by needs on the ground.

Mr. Brown’s office said he made the move after the federal government officially committed to providing funding.

The governor had been in Washington earlier this week.

On Monday, Customs and Border Protection officials said Mr. Brown had backed away from his commitment to deploy troops. They said the governor had rejected requests to have troops watch border cameras, perform maintenance on vehicles and do clerical tasks, all of which could have freed agents to go into the field.

Mr. Brown’s office insisted he had not backed down and was still working to find a compromise role.

CBP officials had suggested possibilities could include flying drones or screening cargo that came in through legal ports of entry.

As of Monday more than 900 troops were on border: 650 of them in Texas, 60 in New Mexico and about 250 in Arizona.

Current plans envision some 2,000 troops total.

Mr. Brown, in his order, laid out the parameters for the deployment: “California National Guard service members shall not engage in any direct law enforcement role nor enforce immigration laws, arrest people for immigration law violations, guard people taken into custody for alleged immigration violations, or support immigration law enforcement activities. California National Guard service members shall not participate in the construction of any new border barrier.”

He said guard troops can be armed, but only when the mission requires it.

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