On April 4, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, “In an effort to prevent such a consequence, the President has directed that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security work together with our governors to deploy the National Guard to our southwest border to assist the border patrol. The President will be signing a proclamation to that effect today.”
CNN reports deployment can only be made if governors cooperate with the administration’s request. “We do hope the deployment begins immediately,” Secretary Nielson said. “I will continue to have conversations with the governors today. As you know it’s done through a memorandum of agreement so we’re working with all haste to agree with that.”
The deployment request by a sitting U.S. president is not entirely unprecedented. Both the Bush administration and the Obama administration authorized National Guard deployments the U.S.-Mexico border in similar requests.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she won’t allow Oregon National Guard troops to be deployed. In a tweet, Brown said, “If @realDonaldTrump asks me to deploy Oregon Guard troops to the Mexico border, I’ll say no. As Commander of Oregon’s Guard, I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border.”
In another tweet, Gov. Brown wrote, “There’s been no outreach by the President or federal officials, and I have no intention of allowing Oregon’s guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington.”
In accordance with U.S. law, troops will not be able to perform any sort of law enforcement activity, such as arresting illegal immigrants. Previous deployments saw troops assisting the Border Patrol with surveillance, investigatory aid and transportation.