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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Gov. John Carney rejected the White House’s request to send National Guard troops to the United States’ southwest border.
Carney, a Democrat, said he won’t use the guard in support of the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families. He said the state received a request Tuesday to send troops to the border.
In the statement, Carney said Delaware will help at the border if President Donald Trump revokes the current policy.
The full statement is below:
“I take my job as Commander-in-Chief of the Delaware National Guard extremely seriously. In the last year, we’ve sent Guardsmen and women to Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico to help our fellow citizens cope with natural disasters. We’ve sent Delaware Guardsmen and women overseas to keep us safe. I’m extremely proud of Delaware’s soldiers and airmen and women. Today, we received a request to send Delaware National Guard troops to the southwest border. 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.
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. I served in Congress, and I watched for six years as that body failed to pass a comprehensive immigration policy that would secure our borders in a way that upholds the values of this great country. Congress and the President need to step up and fix the mess that our immigration system has become.”
Homeland Security officials say there have been 148 cases where someone fraudulently posed as a family member of children at the U.S. border from October to April.
According to figures released Tuesday, the cases involved 301 people. Officials did not say how many were children.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said there was a 314 percent increase in adults showing up with kids who are not family members. She says they are traffickers and smugglers.
More than 2,300 minors have been separated from their families crossing the border to the U.S. under a zero-tolerance policy where everyone caught crossing illegally is prosecuted.
Nielsen says those legitimately seeking asylum should go to official border crossings with their families and they will not be separated.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, also announced Tuesday that they were recalling Guard troops and resources deployed to the border, in protest of the Trump administration’s policy.