Virginia to remove border National Guard due to Trump policy

Jake Hughes
June 20, 2018 - 6:53 am

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti)

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he’s recalling members of the state’s National Guard from the U.S.-Mexico border because he disagrees with a federal policy of separating immigrant children from their families.

Northam made the announcement Tuesday, saying he would not devote resources that could support an “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.

The Democratic governor said he had ordered four crewmembers and a helicopter to return to Virginia from Arizona. The crew was assisting the Arizona National Guard in surveillance operations on the border as part of a 90-day mission.

President Donald Trump has defended his administration’s border-protection policies in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Calling for tough action against illegal immigration, Trump declared the U.S. “will not be a migrant camp” on his watch.

Immigrant children are being held in fenced cages, separately from parents who are being prosecuted under the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings.

Northam said he would be willing to return troops to the border if the policy were repealed.

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan also announced Tuesday that he was recalling Natural Guard members stationed at the border. Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday reversed a decision to send a National Guard helicopter.