Gov. Larry Hogan has joined a growing list of governors who have pledged not to send National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border to bolster security for as long as children are being separated from their families.
He’s also pulled a small contingent of Maryland troops from their station in New Mexico, opting to bring them home. That will include four Guard members and a helicopter.
Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border. Earlier this morning, I ordered our 4 crewmembers & helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico. https://t.co/TEfkUXF7ZN
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) June 19, 2018
The call makes Hogan the second Republican governor to deny the federal government help with securing its border with Mexico, after Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker. Joining Baker and Hogan are Democratic Govs. John Hickenlooper, of Colorado, Andrew Cuomo, of New York, and Gina Raimondo, of Rhode Island, according to The Huffington Post.
Over the last several days, cries have mounted for President Donald Trump’s administration to end its “zero-tolerance” approach to border enforcement, which includes separating children from their parents when they’re stopped trying to enter the United States at illegal border crossings. Reports from Texas have included images of children detained in cages and parents tearfully describing being separated from their kids, as well as heart-wrenching audio of children calling for their parents.
Trump has defended his administration’s actions, blaming Democrats for “being weak and ineffective with Boarder [sic.] Security and Crime.” His chief of Homeland Security, Kristjen Nielsen, on Monday told reporters: “We have high standards. We give them meals. We give them education. We give them medical care.” She blamed Congress for not passing legislation to end the practice of separating children from their families.
Hogan on Monday tweeted that “Congress and the administration must step up and work together to fix our broken system. Immigration enforcement efforts should focus on criminals, not separating innocent children from their families.”
Federal lawmakers from both sides are now working to do just that. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s facing re-election, and Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows both proposed measures to ban the policy, though they’re both “backup” proposals to a larger Republican-sponsored immigration bill scheduled for a vote this week.
No federal law exists that requires families to be separated at the border, Vox has pointed out. Rather, it’s a practice put into place by the Trump administration in April. President Barack Obama’s administration typically referred families detained at the border to civil deportation proceedings that left them as one unit, the AP reports.
At least a couple Baltimore politicians have chimed in to condemn the Trump administration’s policy for dealing with families at the border. In a statement issued this morning, Mayor Catherine Pugh said, “There is certainly a better way and one that respects the dignity of these immigrants and honors their aspirations for what they believe our nation might offer them.”
Per the AP, Rep. Elijah Cummings said Monday, “We need you, those children need you—and I am talking directly to my Republican colleagues—we need you to stand up to President Donald Trump.”