WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Dina Titus asked Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on Thursday to deny any request by the Trump administration to deploy the state’s National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.
President Donald Trump is working with border state governors to deploy the National Guard to assist Border Patrol agents enforcing immigration laws.
Trump said Thursday he anticipated 2,000 to 4,000 troops would be deployed until the border wall is completed. The president told reporters he did not know how much the deployment would cost.
“We’re looking at it,” Trump said. “It depends on what we do.”
Titus, who represents Las Vegas, sent a letter to Sandoval asking the governor to reject any request to use the state’s troops.
“While previous administrations have deployed National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, I believe in this instance the timing is rushed and the justification is politically motivated,” Titus said in the letter.
Sandoval has said that he does not think the border deployment would be an appropriate use of the Nevada National Guard, his spokeswoman said.
The Trump administration has not reached out to the governor’s office to make such a request, Sandoval’s spokeswoman said.
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both deployed National Guard to the border during their administrations. In both cases, however, they went to Congress for approval and funding for those operations.
Trump announced his plan to deploy the National Guard this week following a series of tweets and comments that appeared to catch White House staff and the Department of Homeland Security off guard.
Republican border Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Susana Martinez of New Mexico embraced the Trump plan. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said talks were continuing with California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat.
In her letter, Titus said “Nevada’s National Guard should not be used as political pawns in President Trump’s impulsive immigration policy.”
Titus said “we need and rely on our National Guard at home in Nevada.”
She also noted that a spending bill for fiscal year 2018, passed last month, includes money for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including $7.7 million to hire more than 300 customs officers and $366 million for border security technology.