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California expands Trump border mission of 6 months

FILE – In this Aug. 18, 2010, file photo, California National Guard Sgt. Howard Schwenke is in formation with the California National Guard soldiers, part of Task Force Sierra, which is the training for future deployment to the border together with the Agents of the Border Patrol, in the vicinity of the California/mexican border in San Diego. California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, extended the state of National Guard’s participation in the President Donald Trump border deployment of six months, a low-key announcement that was without the controversy that marked the beginning of the negotiations with the federal government. The California National Guard said in a press release that the mission will now run until the end of March 2019. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, File)

SAN DIEGO – California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday extended the state National Guard’s participation in the President Donald Trump border deployment of six months, a low-key announcement that was without the controversy that marked the beginning of the negotiations with the federal government.

The California National Guard said in a press release that the mission will now run until the end of March. It had been scheduled to expire on Sunday.

In April, Brown and Trump clashed fiercely and openly about the question of whether the Guard would participate and under what conditions. Brown insisted that troops have no involvement in the immigration enforcement or the construction of border barriers — the condition, that the California Guard said it will continue during the six-month extension.

The Republican governors of the three other border states with Mexico — Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — quickly signed up for the Guard’s third major border implementation since 2006 and without the conditions that Brown was there. Brown, a Democrat, in the first instance held, but any involvement of 400 men brought the total to around 2400 for all four of the border states, above the low end of Trump’s goal of sending 2,000 and 4,000.

The Democratic governor has cast his decision as a welcome infusion of federal aid to the combating of transnational criminal gangs and drugs and guns smugglers.

The California Guard currently has about 400 troops assigned, including about 250 in San Diego and El Centro areas on the border between Mexico.

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