(Reuters) - California said on Wednesday it had reached a deal with the Trump administration to provide 400 National Guard troops to combat criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers within the state and at the U.S.-Mexico border.
California National Guard troops will not enforce immigration laws or participate in the construction of any new border barrier, the governor’s office said in a statement.
The deal comes after a U.S. Defense Department official last week said the Democratic-run state had declined a request to commit troops to Republican President Donald Trump’s effort to send up to 4,000 National Guard troops to help the Department of Homeland Security secure the border with Mexico in four southwestern U.S. states.
California Governor Jerry Brown has been a staunch opponent of Trump’s efforts to tighten immigration law enforcement and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Brown last year signed a sanctuary law ordering state and local officials not to cooperate with federal immigration agents in certain situations.
California reached Wednesday’s agreement after securing the federal government’s commitment this week to fund the mission, Brown’s office said.
Currently, 900 National Guard troops have been deployed in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, officials said Monday.
National Guard troops are not taking part in direct border security and are not performing law enforcement work.
Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Leslie Adler