Alabama National Guard members to remain at US-Mexico border

Alabama National Guard members to remain at US-Mexico border
(Source: Alabama National Guard)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Amidst a flurry of states recalling National Guard personnel from the U.S.-Mexico border, Gov. Kay Ivey says those from Alabama will stay.

In May, Ivey approved the deployment of a helicopter and five National Guard members to the border to support the Texas National Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This action came after an early-April request from President Donald Trump for 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members for border reinforcement.

Thursday, Joshua Pendergrass, Gov. Ivey's communications director, said those sent from Alabama will stay at the border.

"Governor Ivey believes border security is critical to our national defense and has no plans to recall the Alabama National Guardsmen currently patrolling the border," he said. "Alabama continues to support the National Guard's mission and President Trump's desire to secure our Southern border."

Since the president's request for reinforcement, seven states have pledged to withhold resources from the border and three have withdrawn resources, according to CNN.

Governors of Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Oregon have not sent resources to the border, citing Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy, which has separated more than 2,300 children from their families to date. Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina have recalled their National Guard members from the border, CNN reported.

"Virginia will not devote any resource to border enforcement actions that support the inhumane policy of separating children from their parents," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said on Twitter.

"When Virginia deployed these resources to the border, we expected that they would play a role in preventing criminals, drug runners and other threats to our security from crossing into the United States, not supporting a policy of arresting families and separating children from their parents," Northam said in a statement.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards took a different approach Wednesday saying the Louisiana troops would remain at the border as planned.

The National Guard "plays no role, direct or indirect, in the ill-conceived policy of separating families," Edwards said, according to the Associated Press.

Ivey took a similar stance, saying the National Guard soldiers would not be conducting law enforcement operations.

"Alabama is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our nation," Ivey said. "The Alabama National Guard stands ready to answer the call and we are proud to assist in the Southwest border mission."

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