At least 5 governors won't keep National Guard on the southern border, citing Trump's family separation policy

  • At least five governors, including two Republicans, announced Tuesday that they would pull state troops from the southern border or cancel planned deployments in response to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.
  • The Republicans include Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland and Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts.
  • Democratic governors from Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina also announced that they would be canceling deployments or withdrawing troops.
People protest the separation of children from their parents in front of the El Paso Processing Center, an immigration detention facility, at the Mexican border on June 19, 2018 in El Paso, Texas.
Getty Images
People protest the separation of children from their parents in front of the El Paso Processing Center, an immigration detention facility, at the Mexican border on June 19, 2018 in El Paso, Texas.

At least five governors, including two Republicans, have announced that they will pull state troops from the southern border or cancel planned deployments in response to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

The announcements are evidence of further backlash to the controversial policy that has resulted in migrant families being separated at the border. The policy has already divided Republicans at the national level, with influential Republican senators, former first lady Laura Bush, and former Trump White House officials coming out in opposition.

"Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border," Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said in a post on Twitter Tuesday. Hogan announced that he ordered back a helicopter and four crew members.

The Republican governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, said Tuesday that the administration's actions were "inhumane" in a statement announcing that he had canceled the deployment of a helicopter and two analysts that had been announced several weeks back.

"Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal government's current actions are resulting in the inhumane treatment of children," his communications director said in a statement to WGBH News, a local outlet.

Democratic governors from Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina also announced that they would be canceling deployments or withdrawing troops.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement that he had ordered four soldiers and a helicopter to return from the border.

"Let me be clear—we are ready to return and contribute to the real work of keeping our nation safe," Northam said in the statement. "But as long as the Trump administration continues to enforce this inhumane policy, Virginia will not devote any resource to border enforcement actions that could actively or tacitly support it."

John Carney, the governor of Delaware, said that he received a request Tuesday for Delaware National Guard troops.

"Under normal circumstances, we wouldn't hesitate to answer the call," Carney wrote in one of a series of posts on Twitter Tuesday. "But given what we know about the policies currently in effect at the border, I can't in good conscience send Delawareans to help with that mission."



Gov. Roy Cooper, a North Carolina Democrat, called the Trump administration's policy "cruel" and said that he was recalling three members of the North Carolina National Guard.

Not all governors who are opposed to the Trump administration's immigration policy have troops on the southern border, or had plans to deploy any resources.

Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who ran against Trump in 2016 for the Republican nomination for president, told MSNBC's Brian Williams Monday that the new immigration policy was "insane."

Ohio does not have any troops on the southern border, a Kasich spokesperson told CNBC.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a post on Twitter Monday that New York would not be "complicit in this ongoing human tragedy," and announced that New York would not deploy any members of the National Guard to the southern border.

It wasn't clear if New York had any personnel on the border already, and a spokesperson for Cuomo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

Cuomo also announced Tuesday that New York intended to file a lawsuit challenging the immigration policy, alleging that the government was violating the constitutional rights of the families separated at the border.

Democrat governors from Rhode Island and Connecticut said in statements that they would not send any troops if it were requested.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who told the Denver Post that Colorado does not have any resources on the southern border, signed an executive order forbidding state agencies from separating children from parents who violated immigration laws.