Oregon Governor Kate Brown has publicly defied Donald Trump, telling the 45th president that she will not sent National Guard troops under her command to patrol the U.S. border with Mexico, Newsweek is reporting.
In a Wednesday tweet, the Democratic governor made it clear that she has no intention of deploying National Guard troops under her command to carry out Trump’s desire to have the military protect the border.
“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.”
As Newsweek reported last week, Trump has been unable to get funding for the so-called Border Wall, a key point of his campaign, that he wants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Estimates put the price of the wall at around $20 billion, but a spending bill pushed through Congress allocates only $1.6 billion for the wall, and that money is earmarked for repairs to sections of the existing border fence, not new construction. Trump had initially said that Mexico would pay for the wall; Mexico has refused, and the Trump administration appears to have abandoned efforts to push Mexico to pay for it.
On Wednesday, as the Hill reported, Homeland Security chief Secy Nielsen said that repairs to the existing wall “count” as Trump’s promised Border Wall.
NOW: Homeland Security Secy Nielsen tells me replacing/improving current wall/fencing along Mexican border counts as “new wall.”
“This is the Trump border wall,” she says. pic.twitter.com/XtWcFKoeYh
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) April 4, 2018
With his border wall having failed to materialize and his DHS chief making excuses, Trump has continued to push for security at the southern border and announced this week that he intends to send the military to guard the southern border.
“Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military.”
What Trump fails to realize, according to Newsweek, is that the president cannot authorize the active military to carry out exercises on U.S. soil without approval from Congress. What’s more, sending the National Guard would be an option — but since National Guard troops are under the command of their states’ governors, not the president himself, it would be up to each state’s governor to command troops to the border.
And while Kate Brown of Oregon is having no part of that, at least one other governor is on board with the idea. Republican Greg Abbott of Texas is glad to have the opportunity to deploy National Guard troops to the border.
“My top priority as governor is ensuring the safety and security of Texans, and securing our southern border has always been essential to that mission.”