President Donald Trump’s decision to separate immigrant children from their parents has resulted in bipartisan outrage, so much so, governors from both the parties have refused to deploy their state’s National Guard at the U.S. border, in at least 8 states, despite orders.
In April, Trump sharpened his anti-immigration rhetoric by saying he wanted to deploy U.S. military forces to the border until his promised wall is built.
“The president has directed that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security work together with our governors to deploy the National Guard to our southwest border to assist the Border Patrol,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the time.
While the initial orders were refused by Gov. Kate Brown (D) of Oregon and Gov. Phil Scott (R) of Vermont, it seems Trump’s latest stunt of separating immigrant children while their families await prosecution, has enraged more governors, who have refused to deploy their state’s National Guard as per Trump’s requirement.
All of the governors, who refused to comply with Trump’s orders, cited one reason: Trump’s draconian “zero-tolerance policy.”
Gov. Charlie Baker (R) of Massachusetts declared the cancellation his state’s troops’ deployment to the border.
“Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal government’s current actions are resulting in the inhumane treatment of children,” a spokesperson for the governor said in a statement.
Another Republican governor, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, cited the similar policy for calling back four National Guard crew members from the border, claiming Trump should focus on “criminals” rather than separating children from their families.
Washington has failed again & again to deliver needed immigration reform - Congress and the administration must step up and work together to fix our broken system. Immigration enforcement efforts should focus on criminals, not separating innocent children from their families.— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) June 18, 2018
Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam (D) similarly called back his state’s National Guard assisting with immigration at the border, until the Trump administration agrees on calling off the “inhumane policy.”
“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,” Northam said in a statement. Let me be clear — we are ready to return and contribute to the real work of keeping our nation safe. But as long as the Trump administration continues to enforce this inhumane policy, Virginia will not devote any resource to border enforcement actions that could actively or tacitly support it.”
Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo (D), whose state’s National Guard is yet to deployed to the border, announced she would refuse of asked to do so.
Correction: Democratic RI Gov. Gina Raimondo says she will not deploy Rhode Island National Guard units to the southern border "to support family separation."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 19, 2018
"The President alone can end family separation." pic.twitter.com/uSEex8cq1h
A similar statement was given out by Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper (D).
“To see the images and hear from religious leaders, psychological professionals and academics — political individuals from all backgrounds — unanimously to condemn this kind of activity is rare,” Hickenlooper said at a news conference. “That you see that broad a consensus with that same passion and sense of urgency (is rare).”
“I think it’s fair to say it’s a rebuke [of the policy]” Hickenlooper explained his state’s condemnation of the policy. “But it’s also just saying: ‘It’s not going to happen in our backyard.’ We are very clear that this is not something that is acceptable. It’s hard for me to imagine that this is happening in the United States of America at the scale it is — at any scale.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also vehemently protested the “zero-tolerance” policy, claiming it was against American moral values and everything the country stands for.
In the face of the federal government’s inhumane treatment of immigrant families, New York will not deploy National Guard to the border. We will not be complicit in this ongoing human tragedy. pic.twitter.com/a2tTzjNisR— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 18, 2018
North Carolina and Connecticut were also among the eight states, rebuking Trump’s immigration policies by halting their state’s National Guard’s deployment.
The cruel policy of tearing children away from their parents requires a strong response, and I am recalling the three members of the North Carolina National Guard from the border. - RC— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) June 19, 2018
“There is no law that mandates this practice. They are not being forced or coerced into stealing migrant children away from their parents. They are proactively electing to implement this policy and to take such actions… It is cruel. It is cowardly,” Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy’s statement read. “It’s un-American. As I have stated in the past, I will not condone the use of our military reservists to participate in any effort at the border that is connected to this inhumane practice. This vile practice must end.”
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: CAITLIN O'HARA/AFP/Getty Images