11 states are pulling National Guard troops from the US-Mexico border in a growing protest over Trump's family-separation policy

Sandy Huffaker/Getty ImagesNational Guard troops by the US-Mexico border in 2010.
  • Eleven states have ended cooperation with a White House initiative to deploy the National Guard to the US-Mexico border.
  • Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia have assets at the border that are now set to return.
  • Seven more states have canceled future deployments.
  • President Donald Trump announced in April that the National Guard would help support his new “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
  • But outrage over images and stories of families separated at the border has led some governors to back out.

Eleven US states have canceled agreements to send members of the National Guard to the US-Mexico border as part of a growing backlash over the Trump administration’s policy separating migrant families that illegally enter the US.

New York, Massachusetts, and Colorado were the first to pull their forces from current or planned deployments at the border, and they were soon joined by many more.

Most are states with a Democratic governor. Two – Massachusetts and Maryland – have Republicans in charge.

Here are the states along with their governor’s party affiliation:

  • Colorado (D)
  • Connecticut (D)
  • Delaware (D)
  • Maryland (R)
  • Massachusetts (R)
  • New Jersey (D)
  • New York (D)
  • North Carolina (D)
  • Pennsylvania (D)
  • Rhode Island (D)
  • Virginia (D)

Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia had already sent resources south and are now withdrawing them. The others had planned to cooperate but no longer will.

Resistance to the Trump policy has increased in recent days, fuelled in part by photographs and audio of detention centres making into the public domain.

Scroll down to see how each state has responded to outrage over the policy.

Colorado (Democrat)

In an executive order on Monday, Gov. John Hickenlooper barred state resources from being used to separate immigrant families.

The order said: “I issue this Executive Order to forbid any state agency from using any state resources for the purpose of separating any child from his or her parent or legal guardian on the sole ground that such parent or legal guardian is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.”

He also called on the Trump administration to reverse the practice of family separation.

Connecticut (Democrat)

Gov. Dannel Malloy condemned what he called the “inhumane practice” of separating families.

“This vile practice must end,” Malloy said.

Delaware (Democrat)

Gov. John Carney said he had refused a request to send troops on Tuesday.

“Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t hesitate to answer the call,” he said. “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.”

Carney said that if Trump changed the zero-tolerance policy, then Delaware would help once more.

Maryland (Republican)

Gov. Larry Hogan recalled a National Guard helicopter and four service members.

“Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border,” he wrote on Twitter.

Massachusetts (Republican)

Gov. Charlie Baker called the administration’s policy “cruel and inhumane,” becoming the latest in a string of Republican figures to criticise the president.

He said Monday that “we told the National Guard to hold steady and to not go down to the border – period,” according to NBC 10 Boston. “We won’t be supporting that initiative unless they change the policy.”

Baker had decided to deploy troops earlier this month, following a proclamation signed by Trump in April that ordered National Guard troops to help protect the US-Mexico border.

New Jersey (Democrat)

“Ever since our founding – and even before – our nation has been a beacon for families seeking freedom and yearning for a better life,” Gov. Phil Murphy said on Tuesday.

He signed an executive order prohibiting the use of state resources to police the border. He also said: “President Trump has turned this promise on its head by doubling down on his inhumane and cruel policy of separating families.”

New York (Democrat)

“In the face of this ongoing tragedy, let me be very clear: New York will not be party to this inhumane treatment of immigrant families,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“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.”

Cuomo called on the acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security to investigate “illegal and discriminatory” tactics by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and “to tell us what his office is doing about the assault on immigrant families along our border.”

North Carolina (Democrat)

North Carolina will withdraw three National Guard members from the border, Gov. Roy Cooper said on Tuesday.

Cooper condemned Trump’s policy as “cruel.”

Pennsylvania (Democrat)

Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted on Tuesday that he opposed state resources being used as part of the family-separation policy.

“While PA proudly sent troops to TX, FL and Puerto Rico for disaster relief and I believe we need to protect our borders from real threats, I oppose state resources being used to further Pres. Trump’s policy of separating young children from their parents,” Wolf wrote.

Rhode Island (Democrat)

In a statement on Tuesday, Gov. Gina Raimondo said her state would not send National Guard resources to the border if asked to do so by the administration.

“The Trump administration’s family-separation policy is immoral, unjust, and un-American,” Raimondo said in a statement. “I have not yet been asked, but if I am, I will not deploy units from the Rhode Island National Guard to the southern border to support the administration’s policy that is ripping families apart.”

Virginia (Democrat)

Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday said he would withdraw one helicopter and four service members from the border.

“When Virginia deployed these resources to the border, we expected we would play a role in preventing criminals, drug runners, and other threats to our security from crossing into the United States – not supporting a policy of arresting families and separating children from their parents,” Northam said.

Northam called on the Trump administration to change its policy and “come to the table on the real immigration reform this nation needs.”

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