SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — California Gov. Jerry Brown won’t be deploying National Guard troops to the Mexican border like Texas is doing in response to an influx of immigrants, a state military official said Monday.
Capt. Will Martin of the California Military Department said the Democratic governor has no plans to send the California National Guard to the southern border.
“The border shared by Texas and Mexico presents a significantly different set of considerations than those presented by the border shared by California and Mexico,” Martin said in a statement.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been a vocal critic of the White House’s response to the border crisis as he considers a second presidential run. He is deploying up to 1,000 troops over the next month at an estimated cost of $12 million per month.
Perry has said for years that the federal government has failed to secure the border and suggested Monday that criminals were exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally.
Since October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied children and teenagers have entered the U.S. illegally, most of them from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where rampant gang violence and intense poverty have driven tens of thousands of people outside their borders.
An official said troops in Texas will be “referring and deterring” immigrants and not detaining people.
Brown has set a different tone in California. He plans to meet Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs on Wednesday, days ahead of his trade mission to the bordering nation next week.
Brown also signed legislation Monday reducing the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor by one day to 364 days, a change that is expected to significantly reduce the number of immigrants in the country legally who can be deported for lesser crimes. Federal law allows legal immigrants to be deported if they are given a sentence of one year or more.