Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will not deploy their state’s National Guard troops to the U.S. – Mexico border, citing the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy on immigration and the resulting “inhumane treatment” of children and parents being separated.
While both states had plans in place to send troops to support immigration officers at the border, they are pulling back their offers as more information comes out about exactly how illegal crossings are being handled under Trump. The president signed an executive order in April authorizing the deployment of the National Guard to the border.
“It’s cruel and inhumane and we told the National Guard to hold steady and to not go down to the border —period,” Gov. Baker, who is a Republican, said on Monday to NBC 10 Boston. “We won’t be supporting that initiative unless they change the policy.”
Earlier in June, Gov. Baker had agreed to send a helicopter and two analysts to work in tandem with the Arizona and New Mexico National Guards, but has changed his mind as the Trump administration continues to separate migrant children from their parents at the border, according to the Boston Globe.
Gov. Cuomo also issued a statement on New York State’s website saying, “In the face of this ongoing human tragedy, let me be very clear: New York will not be party to this inhumane treatment of immigrant families. 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.”
Other political figures have spoken out against the practice of separating children from their parents. Former first lady Laura Bush wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post decrying the practice, calling it “cruel” and current first lady Melania Trump issued a statement saying she “hates” seeing family separations occur.
On Tuesday, a Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, is expected to announce new legislation to stop the Trump administration from carrying out families separation of immigrants trying to cross the border into the U.S.
Massachusetts and New York join a handful of other states whose governors have previously said they would not send their state’s own National Guard troops to the border. When President Trump signed the executive order in April, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Republican, said she would not dispatch troops to the border, Montana Governor Steve Bullock also said he would not dispatch any of his troops, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper did the same.