Growing number of US governors withhold Guard troops from border

World Today

A girl stands with her mother during a Rally For Our Children event to protest a new “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that has led to the separation of families, Thursday, May 31, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Governors in several U.S. states are refusing to send National Guard troops to the southern border with Mexico, in direct response to the Trump Administration which has separated thousands of migrant children from their parents in the last six weeks.

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions instituted a zero-tolerance policy on immigration prosecutions in May, the Department of Homeland Security has separated 1,995 children from 1,940 adults at the southern border between April 19-31. The numbers are a dramatic rise from the nearly 1,800 family separations that took place between October 2016 and February 2018, Reuters reported.

Sessions’ zero tolerance policy means that those apprehended entering the United States illegally will be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents, Reuters also reported.

On Monday, with national outrage rising, Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pledged to withhold National Guard assets, “until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded.”

Hogan also tweeted that he withdrew four Maryland crew members and a helicopter from their station at the New Mexico border.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, also a Republican, repealed a previous decision to lend a National Guard helicopter to the border.

Echoing Hogan, Baker cited the administration’s “cruel and inhumane” policy, the Associated Press reported.

Democrats also said they wouldn’t send National Guard troops to the border.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy — all Democrats — have withheld state resources, as long as the separations continue, the Washington Post reported.

Despite growing bipartisan disproval, President Donald Trump has not wavered.

He continues to blame Democrats and repeats that he does not want the U.S. to become a “migrant camp” or “refugee holding facility.”

Story by CGTN with information from the Associated Press.