SAN DIEGO – California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday extended the state National Guard’s participation in President Donald Trump’s border deployment by six months, a low-key announcement that was made without any of the acrimony that characterized his early negotiations with the federal government.
The California National Guard said in a press release that the mission will now run until the end of March. It had been scheduled to expire on Sunday.
In April, Brown and Trump clashed fiercely and publicly over whether the Guard would participate and under what terms. Brown insisted that troops have no involvement in immigration enforcement or construction of any border barriers — a condition that the California Guard said will continue during the six-month extension.
The Republican governors of the three other border states with Mexico — Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — quickly signed up for the Guard’s third major border deployment since 2006 and without the conditions that Brown insisted on. Brown, a Democrat, initially held out but his eventual commitment of 400 troops brought the total to about 2,400 for all four border states, above the low end of Trump’s target of sending 2,000 to 4,000.
The Democratic governor has cast his decision as a welcome infusion of federal support to fight transnational criminal gangs and drug and firearms smugglers.
The California Guard currently about 400 troops assigned, including some 250 in the San Diego and El Centro areas on the Mexico border.