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Gov. Brown: Oregon won't send Guard to border

Gov. Kate Brown said she would not cooperate with President Donald Trump's plan to send the National Guard to the southern border.

PAMPLIN FILE PHOTO - Gov. Kate BrownGov. Kate Brown took to Twitter Wednesday, April 4, to let everyone know that she won't cooperate with President Donald Trump's plan to deploy the National Guard to the southern border.

"If @realDonaldTrump asks me to deploy Oregon Guard troops to the Mexico border, I'll say no," she wrote. "As commander of Oregon's Guard, I'm deeply troubled by Trump's plan to militarize our border."

She clarified in a second tweet that she had not received any "outreach by the president or federal officials" and reiterated that she has "no intention of allowing Oregon's Guard troops to be used to distract from (Trump's) troubles in Washington."

Trump announced Tuesday that he would use the National Guard to secure the border until a border wall is constructed. The announcement followed days of tweets by the president venting his frustration over what he described as "weak immigration policies."

The volley of tweets appeared to be a response to an influx of Honduran migrants via Mexico, according to the New York Times. Honduras has experienced a recent spate of violence and political upheaval.

Past presidents, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, sent National Guard troops to provide support to border control employees, but not to enforce federal immigration law, the Times reported Tuesday.

Eugene Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School, said the president has the legal authority to federalize Guard troops but can't use them for direct law enforcement without gubernatorial consent, under law.

"It is a fly in the ointment for the Trump administration," Fidell said. "It is going to cost federal taxpayers a fortune with no payoff. They are not going to be able to do direct law enforcement unless Congress changes the statute or passes another statute. Congress isn't going to do that."

The Trump administration has said it reached out only to governors in southwest border states about deploying troops along the border, CNN reported Thursday.

"Oregon is not a border state," Fidell noted.

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