Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that she would not comply with President Donald Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border if asked to do so.
Trump issued a proclamation that same day calling on the defense secretary to “request use of National Guard personnel” to secure the border.
The president cited the flow of illicit drugs, MS-13 gang activity and illegal immigration as his reasons for the move.
“Our American way of life hinges on our ability as a Nation to adequately and effectively enforce our laws and protect our borders,” the memo stated. “A key and undeniable attribute of a sovereign nation is the ability to control who and what enters its territory.”
“The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis,” it added. “The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My Administration has no choice but to act.”
Protecting her citizens from drugs and gangs apparently are not good enough reasons for Brown. The governor’s defiance came despite a report released last summer finding Oregon has the fourth highest teenage drug abuse rate and the sixth worst drug problem overall in the country!
“We have a massive problem,” Mark Kruger, captain of Portland Police Bureau’s drugs and vice division, told KATU. The 23 year-veteran added, “We’re seizing larger quantities of methamphetamine and heroin and cocaine in Portland, Oregon than we have historically ever seized.”
Brown responded directly to Trump with a pair of tweets indicating she has no intention of complying with his request, though there is no indication she’s even been asked.
“If @realDonaldTrump asks me to deploy Oregon Guard troops to the Mexico border, I’ll say no. As Commander of Oregon’s Guard, I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border,” she wrote.
“There’s been no outreach by the President or federal officials, and I have no intention of allowing Oregon’s guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington,” Brown said.
There’s been no outreach by the President or federal officials, and I have no intention of allowing Oregon’s guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington.
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) April 4, 2018
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters at the White House on Wednesday the details of the deployment are still being worked out, but made clear the administration was not federalizing the troops and governors retained control over their military personnel.
She gave no inkling non-border states would be asked to send soldiers to support the mission, so it looks like Brown is just grandstanding against Trump. She is up for re-election in 2018, after all.
“I have spoken with all of the (border state) governors, and will be continuing these conversations,” Nielsen said. “It is very encouraging that some of them have already taken dramatic steps in their own states to confront illegal immigration and to strengthen that border security to prevent the criminal activity and the inflow of drugs.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that National Guard troops from his state are already deployed to the border.
Texas already has the National Guard and Dept. of Public Safety deployed to the border. https://t.co/HFNfC9ckRH
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 2, 2018
Arizona welcomes the deployment of National Guard to the border. Washington has ignored this issue for too long and help is needed. For Arizona, it’s all about public safety.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 4, 2018
New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez stated that she “appreciates the administration’s efforts to bring states to the table as they go about taking steps to better secure our border.”
Meanwhile, California Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown is so far non-committal, the Sacramento Bee reported. Given that he has taken many opportunities to rail against Trump and tout California’s status as a sanctuary state, one can predict compliance may not be forthcoming.
NPR reported all the recent presidents including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan have ordered National Guard troops to the border, citing drug smuggling and illegal immigration.
Oregon’s Gov. Brown, like her California counterpart, has been an outspoken critic of Trump.
Maybe Brown needs to care more about her charge of protecting her citizens and less about trying to score political points against Trump, if she truly wants to lead her state.
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