Have you heard about the movement for California to become its own nation? Over a million people have signed the petition for California to secede from the United States. While it is unlikely this will lead to another civil war, this “California answers to no one” attitude goes all the way to the top.
Last week, Trump called on governors of Southwestern states to send National Guardsmen to the border with Mexico to aid the U.S. Border Patrol in stopping illegal crossings and drug trafficking. Sound like a reasonable request? California Governor Jerry Brown doesn’t seem to think so.
Desert Sun elaborates on the options Trump has if California does not comply:
Brown, usually quick to criticize the president and set California up as a liberal foil to the current administration, has yet to say if he’ll comply with the president’s directive or will refuse to send California National Guardsmen to the border to assist U.S. Border Patrol with immigration enforcement.
NBC News reported Brown had spoken directly with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen, but the governor has not publicly announced a decision on the matter.
A representative of Brown referred The Desert Sun to Lt. Col. Tom Keegan, who said the California National Guard was awaiting details about “funding, duration and end date.”
“This request – as with others we’ve received from the Department of Homeland Security, including those for additional staffing in 2006 and 2010 – will be promptly reviewed to determine how best we can assist our federal partners,” he said in an email.
USC law professor Dwight Stirling, who also served as a lawyer in the California National Guard, said the governor has the legal authority to refuse the president’s direction to send the National Guard to the border.
“Jerry Brown holds all the cards,” he said. “If the president wants to federalize the guard, he can do that with the stroke of the pen, but he’s not going to be able to use the guard the way he wants.”
Stirling said governors are the “commanders in chief” of the state national guard and the guard is under their sole control. The president does have the power to federalize any state national guard, but then the guard would be subject to federal laws which prohibit the military from enforcing domestic law.
There are multiple ways the current situation could play out, he said. Brown could refuse to deploy the guard, and a standstill could ensue. Trump could federalize the California National Guard, but then could not use them to enforce immigration law. The president could also direct the Department of Defense to strip away federal authority from the guard, known as decertifying, and slash their funding.
“He could direct the Pentagon to decertify the California National Guard,” Stirling said. “If he does that, of course, he would be cutting off his nose to spite his face, because then he wouldn’t have access to the California National Guard.”
He said there was an additional option, which he called “extreme and unlikely,” but would be legal. National Guardsmen could be brought in from another state, Arizona for example.
“If the border patrol leadership in San Diego were to work out a deal with the governor of Arizona to have some members of the Arizona guard sent to work for the border patrol in San Diego, I don’t see any legal impediment to that occurring,” he said.
California’s governor’s official stance is “We’ll see,” but if you read between the lines his true intent is clear. Delay indefinitely. They still haven’t got around to reviewing requests from the Department of Homeland Security from 2006 and 2010! It makes you wonder what their definition of “promptly” is.
Do you think California should get with the program and protect our nation’s borders? Tell us what you think in the comments below!