Unlike the Republican governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas who agreed, Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t saying whether California National Guard troops will be sent to the Mexican border as President Trump is asking.
Trump’s request isn’t that unusual. Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama also asked for troops to beef up border security.
Ev Meade, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego, said Trump is different in that the rhetoric he has used around the request suggests there’s an element of political theater involved. And he said that puts Brown in a tough spot.
“The real ask may be fairly reasonable but if it’s done for unreasonable purposes, or just different purposes, then he may feel very uncomfortable about acceding to that order," Meade said.
Not to mention the Trump administration is currently suing California over its immigration policies.
So far Brown has been mum, referring all questions to the National Guard.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Tom Keegan said the Guard needs some more information.
"This request -- as with others we've received from the Department of Homeland Security, including those for additional staffing in 2006 and 2010 -- will be promptly reviewed to determine how best we can assist our federal partners. We look forward to more detail, including funding, duration and end state," he said.
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for the governor to reject Trump’s request. In 2006, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to send an additional 1,500 troops on top of the 1,000 he’d already agreed to send to the border at President George W. Bush’s request.
If Brown ultimately does agree to send troops, it could take awhile. According to the California National Guard, in 2006, there were 77 days between when the president made his request and when troops were at full operational capability and deployment. In 2010, troops were fully deployed 58 days after the request was made.