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Govs Pull Nat'l Guard Over Immigration 06/20 06:16

   ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- The governors of multiple East Coast states have 
announced that they will not deploy National Guard resources near the 
U.S.-Mexico border, a largely symbolic but politically significant rejection of 
the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that has 
resulted in children being separated from their families.

   Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, announced Tuesday morning on his 
Twitter account that he has ordered four crewmembers and a helicopter to 
immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico.

   "Until this policy of separating children from their families has been 
rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the 
border," Hogan tweeted.

   Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who like Hogan is a Republican governor in 
a blue state, on Monday reversed a decision to send a National Guard helicopter 
to the border, citing the Trump administration's "cruel and inhuman" policy.

   On the Democratic side, governors in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York and Virginia have all indicated their 
refusal to send Guard resources to assist with immigration-related issues.

   The resources in question from each state are relatively small, so the 
governors' actions aren't likely to have a huge practical impact. But they are 
a strong symbolic political gesture, said Mileah Kromer, the director of the 
Sarah T. Hughes field Politics Center at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

   "I think at a time when you have a large percentage of the country 
questioning the leadership of the Trump administration, it certainly is a 
moment for the governors across the country to show leadership, particularly at 
a time when this is so divisive," Kromer said.

   The forced separation of migrant children from their parents has fueled 
criticism across the political spectrum and sparked nationwide protests of 
President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

   "Ever since our founding - and even before - our nation has been a beacon 
for families seeking freedom and yearning for a better life," Democratic New 
Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday as he signed an executive order 
prohibiting the use of state resources. "President Trump has turned this 
promise on its head by doubling down on his inhumane and cruel policy of 
separating families."

   In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday reiterated a decision he first made 
earlier this year to not send Guard resources to the border to assist with 
immigration-related duties. He's also asked for a federal investigation of the 
policy relating to the separation of the children from their families.

   Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, said he turned down a request he 
received on Tuesday to send National Guard troops to the southwest border, 
while the Democratic governors of Virginia and North Carolina said they would 
recall Guard members and equipment they already had sent to the border.

   "If President Trump revokes the current inhumane policy of separating 
children from their parents, Delaware will be first in line to assist our 
sister states in securing the border," Carney said in a statement.

   Governors are not the only ones taking action: Mayors from across the U.S. 
announced plans to travel to the Texas border on Thursday to protest the "zero 
tolerance" policy. The mayors will gather at a point of entry near where 
migrant minors began arriving at a tent-like shelter last week.

   The U.S. Conference of Mayors last week unanimously passed a resolution 
registering its opposition to separating children from their families at the 
border.


(KA)

 
 
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