President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a memo deploying National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to curb what he called a “surge of illegal activity” until his border wall is built, but at least one governor is prepared to defy the request.
Trump’s memo to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the National Guard would be deployed â€œto stop the flow of deadly drugs and other contraband, gang members and other criminals, and illegal aliens into this country.â€
But there was no indication as to when and where the troops would be sent, and the costs of such an order remain unclear.
Because of this, Oregon’s Democratic Governor Kate Brown expressed reservations about the decision, saying the federal government had not contacted her state on the matter. Brown said she would not order Oregon’s National Guard to the border under such circumstances.
“If @realDonaldTrump asks me to deploy Oregon Guard troops to the Mexico border, Iâ€™ll say no. As Commander of Oregonâ€™s Guard, Iâ€™m deeply troubled by Trumpâ€™s plan to militarize our border,” Brown said on Twitter Wednesday evening. “Thereâ€™s been no outreach by the President or federal officials, and I have no intention of allowing Oregonâ€™s guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington.”
Thereâ€™s been no outreach by the President or federal officials, and I have no intention of allowing Oregonâ€™s guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington.
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) April 4, 2018
That said, Trump’s directive is not unprecedented, as the National Guard had also been sent to the border by former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.