The fight between the state of California and the Trump administration and immigration continues and has reached a new escalation with the announcement that California Governor Jerry Brown will actually not be deploying National Guard members to the border. The Associated Press reported:
‘The state informed federal officials it will not allow its troops to fix and repair vehicles, operate remotely-controlled surveillance cameras to report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, operate radios and provide “mission support,” which can include clerical work, buying gas and handling payroll, according to officials with knowledge of the talks who spoke condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.’
So, what does that mean really? Last week, Gov. Brown announced he would deploy 400 National Guard soldiers to the border on the condition that they would not be used to aid immigration enforcement. What Brown was willing to do, however, was deploy the troops to the border to fight gun and drug trafficking.
California responds?? pic.twitter.com/8HCXoGXc87
— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) April 11, 2018
According to the AP, the federal government has yet to respond to the conditions. Brown’s agreement to send troops was definitely welcomed by the Trump administration since California would be the one state they would expect to refuse. However, there’s no telling what the Trump administration thinks of Brown’s conditions.
What the AP reports though is that talks between state and federal officials ended over the weekend on a bad note. They reported:
‘Talks between U.S. and California officials about the duties the California troops would perform soured Friday and over the weekend after state authorities told federal officials that they would not participate in vehicle maintenance and the other jobs outlined for an initial phase across the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the U.S. officials said. The other border-state governors – all Republicans – have openly embraced Trump’s plans.’
Though the Trump administration would likely cry foul and scream that California’s refusal is unacceptable, the former lawyer of the state’s National Guard Dwight Stirling, commented California has every right to refuse the request.
‘Jerry Brown holds all the cards. If the president wants to federalize the guard, he can do that with the stroke of a pen, but he’s not going to be able to use the guard the way he wants.’
The reasoning behind that is that just as Trump is the commander-in-chief of the federal military, governors of state’s are considered the commander-in-chief for their own state guards.
Stirling wrote recently there are several possible outcomes if Brown was to refuse.
‘Brown could refuse to deploy the guard, and a standstill could ensue. Trump could federalize the California National Guard, but then could not use them to enforce immigration law. The president could also direct the Department of Defense to strip away federal authority from the guard, known as decertifying, and slash their funding.
‘”He could direct the Pentagon to decertify the California National Guard,” Stirling said. “If he does that, of course, he would be cutting off his nose to spite his face, because then he wouldn’t have access to the California National Guard.’
In other words, decertifying the California National Guard wouldn’t be a smart move since there would be nothing Trump could utilize in the state of California. Trump, however, is not the brightest orange bulb in the chandelier.
Featured image by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.