Politics

Trump: ‘High Crime’ Likely in California After Gov. Brown Rejects Border Troops

Nonpartisan group rejected president’s claim about barrier being built near San Diego

Members of the Kentucky National Guard 206th Engineer battalion arrive on a C-130 Hercules transport plane in July 2006 in Tucson, Arizona, to support Border Patrol agents maintaining the U.S.-Mexican border. (Gary Williams/Getty Images file photo)

Donald Trump slammed California’s Democratic governor Tuesday, contending “high crime” will rise in the state after Jerry Brown rejected the president’s request for National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brown last week indicated he would deploy California Guard troops to the border — but not for the immigration enforcement mission Trump requested. Instead, the governor told the Trump administration in a letter guardsmen and women would focus on combating transnational crime groups.

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But on Monday, he pulled out of the administration’s border-state program completely because the administration’s requested services — including surveillance and engineering work — are closely related to immigration enforcement.

The move got under the skin of Trump, who last week applauded Brown for initially deciding to send California Guard troops south.

He tweeted Tuesday morning that Brown and his administration “are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border.”

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Brown and other state officials, however, have said in recent days there is no massive flow of undocumented immigrants moving from Mexico into the Golden State.

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During the presidential campaign and at times since taking office, Trump has railed against states like California and cities like Chicago, describing them as overrun with violent undocumented immigrants who pose a risk to the security and economic standing of his supporters. He returned to that rhetoric — which many conservative GOP lawmakers have echoed, but in softer terms — Tuesday morning.

“The high crime rate will only get higher,” Trump tweeted, then repeated his claim that his “Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

Some experts and Democratic lawmakers have questioned whether what is under construction in Southern California is the structure Trump campaigned on.

“The short answer is that the omnibus … funds some new fencing, though far less than Trump had hoped it would,” FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy group, said in a recent blog post of the $1.3 trillion spending bill Trump reluctantly signed last month.

The new barriers are also not the kind of solid, concrete wall Trump once described during the campaign,” the organization concluded. “Nor is it anything like any of the prototypes Trump visited in mid-March.”

An estimated 250 troops have been deployed in Arizona, 60 in New Mexico and roughly 650 in Texas, Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Monday. Trump has said he wants 2,000 to 4,000 troops deployed.

Dean DeChiaro contributed to this report.

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