Dems blast Walker for sending troops to southern border

Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

Dems are blasting Gov. Scott Walker for sending Wisconsin National Guard troops to the southern border as the Trump administration continues pursuing its family separation policy for undocumented migrants.

But a Walker spokeswoman countered that the policy is a federal one, and didn’t take a position on the issue.

The Department of Military Affairs announced Monday that about two dozen of the state’s National Guard members are leaving to aid the Arizona National Guard and U.S Customs and Border Patrol in securing the state’s border with Mexico. President Trump in April called for the National Guard to help secure the nation’s southern border.

The news came as the Trump administration doubles down on its decision to separate migrant parents and children at the border, which stems from the new “zero tolerance” policy when processing undocumented immigrants.

Wisconsin Dems, including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, condemned the guv for agreeing to send troops to the border, saying the move “will not alleviate the humanitarian crisis unfolding in shelters.”

“Governor Walker’s plan to send Wisconsin National Guard members to the southern border is a misuse of state and federal resources, and only serves to give President Trump air cover for his outrageous and cruel plan to separate immigrant families,” he said.

The Town of Vermont Dem traveled to Texas over the weekend along with other lawmakers to tour border patrol processing centers and other facilities.

Meanwhile, Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz called on Walker to withhold the state’s National Guard troops until the family separation policy ends, while nearly 30 Assembly and Senate Dems signed onto a letter urging Walker to rescind his offer of the state troops.

“At long last, when children are being ripped from their parents by the thousands, you need to draw a line in the sand and stand up against cruelty,” the letter said.

Walker spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg noted the state’s troops are on administrative assignments with the cost covered by the federal government, adding the family separation policy isn’t a state one.

“The policy related to individuals seeking asylum is a federal policy, and those with concerns should contact their federal lawmakers,” she added.

Walker had also previously written in a letter to Pocan he supported Trump’s “aggressive actions” to secure the border.

“As Governor, I want to ensure the safety of all of our citizens, and I want to reduce access to illegal drugs as part of a comprehensive strategy in dealing with opioid and illegal drug addiction,” Walker wrote in April. “Therefore, I welcome President Donald Trump’s aggressive actions to secure our nation’s southern border.”

See the Dem letter to Walker:
http://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/180619DemLetter.pdf 

See the DMA release:
https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/dept-of-military-affairs-wisconsin-national-guard-members-supporting-southwest-border-mission/

See Walker’s April letter to Pocan:
https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WIGOV/2018/04/09/file_attachments/986751/4.9.18_Letter_to_Congressman_Pocan.pdf

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