11 states refuse to send National Guard to the border

Kaylah Jackson
June 20, 2018 - 11:18 am



State governors are denouncing President Trump's immigration policy by pulling their National Guard troops from the border and announcing they won't be deploying any more of the state military until Trump changes the policy.

In April, the president made an announcement declaring that thousands of National Guard troops would be sent to the U.S./Mexico border and in partnership with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Guard would be used to assit in security and surviellance measures. 

Kristjen Nielsen, secretary for DHS said after the announcement that of the deployment of troops that “It will be strong, it will be as strong as is needed to fill the gaps that we have today, is what I can tell you.”

As the administrations immigration policy furthers, more state governors are expressing their issues with the "zero-tolerance" policy and 11 states in total have refused to send their National Guard to the border.

Here are the states:


Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) announced that no state resources would be used towards border protection.

Along with the Colorado Immigrants' Rights Coalition, the governor and advocacy group released a joint statement saying, “Purposely separating children from their parents is immoral and un-American. Immigration enforcement is a necessary function of our federal government, but it is beyond comprehension that the Trump administration is using these families as pawns to deter immigration. We urge the administration to stop this cruel practice. If the White House won’t act, Congress should. No political end is worth destroying families and traumatizing children.”

Gov. Hickenlooper also sent a letter to members of Congress on his opposition of the policy of separating immigrant children from their families. 


"Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t hesitate to answer the call. But given what we know about the policies currently in effect at the border, I can’t in good conscience send Delawareans to help with that mission," said Gov. John Carney (D). In a similar tweet storm, Carney announced that when the president revokes his immigration policy, he would employ the help of the National Guard."

Citing that he's sent troops to assist in national disaster crisis like that of Puerto Rico and the hurricanes in Texas, Gov. Carney calls the immigration system a "mess" and calls on Congress and the president to fix it. 


Republican Governor, Larry Hogan not only refused to send National Guard troops to the border but he also ordered a U.S. military helicopter and its crew who were stationed in New Mexico to fly back to Maryland. He also implored the president to rescind its zero-tolerance policy of separating families. 


Gov. Charlie Baker (R) referred to the White House's immigration policy as "cruel and inhumane" earlier this week and said "we won't be supporting that initiative unless they change their policy." While Baker stated that border security is important, he said "separating kids from their families is not."

New Hampshire

Even before being asked by the Pentagon to send troops to the border, Republican governor Chris Sununu said in a statement to local news station WMUR “the New Hampshire National Guard has not been contacted, and I will not send our New Hampshire troops to the southern border to separate families."

New York

"In the face of this ongoing human tragedy, let me be very clear: New York will not be party to this inhumane treatment of immigrant families. We will not deploy National Guard to the border, and we will not be complicit in a political agenda that governs by fear and division," said Andrew Cuomo (D), Governor of New York.

Cuomo continued in a statement referring to the diversity of the United States as one of its "great strengths," calling the administrations treatment of immigrant families as "unconscionable."

North Carolina

Roy Cooper (D), Democratic governor of N.C. recalled three members of the National Guard from the border according to WTVD calling the policy "cruel."

During the Bush and Obama administration, members of the National Gaurd were previously deployed for border patrol missions.


Gov. Kate Brown (D) stated her concern for the president's plan to "militarize our border" and said that if called on to send embers of the Oregon National Guard down south, she would say "no."


Members of the National Guard previously assisted in humanitarian missions to Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, as stated by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) but he tweeted that he doesn't believe in using state resources to support separating families and for that reason, wouldn't be sending members of the Guard to the border.

Rhode Island

"The only acceptable place for children is back with their parents," said Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo (D). She later released a statement condeming the president's immigration policy as "un-American" and said Rhode Island troops won't be deploying in support of separating families. 


Ralph Northam (D), Governor of Virginia said “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," and made an annoucement this morning that he will be recalling members of the Virginia National Guard from the Southern border.

The crew was previously assisting the Arizona National Guard in surveillance operations on the border as part of a 90-day mission.

In the midst of state government officials expressing distaste for the adminstration's enforcement of the zero-tolerance policy, President Trump has announcement he will sign something that would prevent families from being separated a the U.S./ Mexico border.

"We want them to come in based on merit, we want great people that will be great for our country." said Trump during a meeting at the White House with lawmakers, Wendesday morning. 

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