- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Democrats in Wisconsin slammed Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday for failing to address the issue of families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Scott Walker’s silence on family separation speaks volumes. His decision to send Wisconsin’s troops to the US-Mexico border while children are being separated from their parents and put in cages is an endorsement of a cruel and inhumane policy that goes against Wisconsin values,” said TJ Helmstetter, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, in a statement.

Mr. Walker’s office said the troops would fulfill “administrative” roles, but said the ongoing issues on the border were federal problems.

“Wisconsin’s National Guard troops are on administrative assignments, and the cost is being paid for by the federal government,” said Amy Hasenberg, press secretary for Mr. Walker. “The policy related to individuals seeking asylum is a federal policy, and those with concerns should contact their federal lawmakers.”

The issue of how the Trump administration is handling illegal crossings at the border made headlines after reports that families were being separated. Images of illegal immigrants in holding areas surrounded by chain-link fences and audio of distraught children have escalated the immigration issue even further. Lawmakers are trying to use the urgency of the issue to finally pass immigration reform after several failed attempts earlier this year. 

Wisconsin is set to send about two dozen National Guard troops to the border, according to an Associated Press report on Monday. They will head to Arizona to help with security efforts.

Governors on both sides of the aisle have decided not to continue their plans of sending National Guard troops to the border after the latest developments. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia both decided not to send any additional troops and requested any members currently on the border return home.

“Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border,” Mr. Hogan tweeted. “Earlier this morning, I ordered our 4 crewmembers & helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico.”

Mr. Northam said that he requested the Virginia troops also return home.

“When Virginia deployed these resources to the border, we expected that they would play a role in preventing criminals, drug runners and other threats to our security from crossing into the United States — not supporting a policy of arresting families and separating children from their parents,” he said in a statement.

Other states refusing to send their troops include: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York, Connecticut and North Carolina. All of them are Democrats, with the exception of Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts.

President Trump initially requested the troops be sent to the border back in April to help border patrol officers deal with illegal crossings.

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