On April 1, The Washington Post reported that a caravan of of Central American migrants would be coming to the United States. Considering that President Trump campaigned on promises of walls and deportations, it was not surprising to anyone that he wanted governors to deploy their National Guards at the border. It also wasn’t surprising that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (both Republicans) listened to him. What is surprising, though, is that California Gov. Jerry Brown is deploying 400 National Guard troops to the border. California has been both criticized and hailed for being the “anti-Trump” state. So the question remains: why did Brown do this?
The Foghorn’s first issue with Brown’s decision is that we don’t agree with the decision to send troops to the border in the first place. Trump’s plan to send National Guard members to the border is just political grandstanding. National guard troops can’t enforce immigration law. This move is two things. Firstly, this is a purely political move on Trump’s part so that he can say that he’s fulfilling his campaign promises. And secondly, this move is a pathetic attempt to fulfill Trump’s ever-dwindling hope of “building that wall.” It’s unlikely that Trump will build a border wall, despite the promises he’s made at rallies. Despite the actual ineffectiveness of the plan, if you don’t know much about immigration law, it can sound like Trump is doing a lot to “secure the border.” The reality is, he isn’t.
Many of us on the Foghorn staff find Brown to be hypocritical. He cannot say that he does not support President Trump’s immigration ideas, and yet follow through with Trump’s plans. Brown is trying to have it both ways. It’s no secret that California is a liberal state, so Brown knows that if he wants to stay on the good side of Californian Democrats, he has to at least verbally oppose Trump. However, he’s also trying to appease Republicans and appear moderate to the government. Brown cannot be on both sides of this issue. He can either show that he’s progressive by resisting Trump and not deploying troops to the wall, or he can admit he agrees with Trump on border security.
Gov. Brown claims not to agree with Trump’s immigration policy, but he is obviously feeding into it. A majority of the Foghorn staff considers themselves to be progressive, so we don’t want to see the border militarized due to our personal political beliefs. However, it’s not just that a politician is doing something we disagree with – it’s that a politician who’s supposed to be on our side is doing it.
One can argue that it is Brown’s duty as a governor to take orders from the president of the United States. However, Brown had every right to refuse President Trump’s order and not cooperate. The state has already defied Trump numerous times before. Why not now? There is no reason why Brown had to send 400 National Guard troops. It is not like Gov. Brown is under political pressure. His term is coming to an end, and, even if he was running for re-election, he lives in a single-party state. It’s possible that in the end, he would have been strong-armed by the federal government into doing so anyway. However, there was no need for him to simply comply with the president as soon as it was ordered, let alone send almost double the number of troops as other border states. Trump would have criticized Jerry Brown if he refused, but Trump will always criticize Democrats and criticize California. Jerry Brown can’t avoid that.
Trump has an empty solution to a problem that he knows means a lot to his supporters, and Gov. Jerry Brown is being a hypocrite. Brown has criticized Trump before, and the fact that he decided to fold over for Trump is a mistake.
Featured Photo: Trump knows by now that he can’t build a border wall; his current strategy is just political theater. Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde/Wikimedia Commons