Just how limited became clearer Monday after California's National Guard told Homeland Security officials the state will not allow soldiers to do the types of things they're doing elsewhere on the border: monitoring surveillance cameras, performing maintenance and transporting US border agents.
He's stayed quiet on the subject other than to issue a letter accompanying California's offer to deploy the National Guard to combat transnational crime - but not participate in any immigration enforcement.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order two weeks ago, requesting National Guard troops from the four states that border Mexico to deploy troops to assist Border Patrol.
The state's position infuriated some federal officials because the restrictions California officials wanted to impose on what the state's troops would not do were considered onerous, the officials said. "Thank you, Jerry, good move for the safety of our Country!"
"This will not be a mission to build a new wall", Brown wrote. "Operation Guardian Support will enable Del Rio Sector to impede and deny illegal border crossings, maintain situational awareness, and apply the appropriate time-bound response and law enforcement resolution to increase security and achieve operational control of our Nation's borders". He was not specific about jobs his troops would or would not perform or how he would distinguish between immigration-related work and going after criminal gangs and drug and gun smugglers.
A California National Guard commander, Lt. Col. Tom Keegan, disputed that characterization, and said in a statement Monday that "state officials have not rejected anything".
Vitiello made the comments to reporters in Washington Monday after two USA officials told The Associated Press said terms of the federal government's initial plans for sending National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration. "It will be an iterative process".
Pentagon officials said Monday they are still calculating what the troop deployment will cost.
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