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Edwards: Our National Guard is not participating in separations

Posted: 12:06 PM, Jun 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-20 13:06:19-04

Yesterday,  Republican and Democratic governors announced that they were withdrawing their states’ National Guard troops from immigration duty as a result of President Trump’s policy of separating families. 

Those governors – Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, and Democratic governors in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York and Virginia, all said they will not send troops to assist with immigration-related issues. 

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement regarding the presence of the Louisiana National Guard providing assistance on the Southern border:

“In May, the State of Louisiana, along with 8 other states approved a request for aerial support to our neighbor in Texas. Under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, requests for assistance along the Southern border were routinely granted. This three-person Louisiana National Guard team and one helicopter provides air support to monitor drug interdiction, support anti-terrorism efforts, and provide additional security to custom and border control agents on the ground.  This mission is identical to those routinely performed upon request by the Louisiana National Guard since 2010.  This crew plays no role, direct or indirect, in the ill-conceived policy of separating families.  In keeping with our longstanding practice of providing assistance to a neighboring state, this support team will remain in place until mid-July at which time they will return and resume their primary mission of enhanced counter drug support to local law enforcement and to prepare for the height of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

“I, like many people, am deeply disturbed by the unnecessary and abhorrent policy of separating children from their families. It is an unconscionable practice that is inconsistent with our fundamental values as Americans. I urge Congress and the President to act quickly to end this crisis.”

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Gov. John Bel Edwards says Louisiana will keep its National Guard air support team on the Texas border, even as he criticized the Trump administration for separating families who cross into the United States illegally.
  
Louisiana has a three-person National Guard team and one helicopter on the border.
  
In a statement Wednesday, Edwards said they will remain there until mid-July as planned. He described it as Louisiana’s longstanding practice of providing assistance to neighboring states when requested.
  
The Democratic governor says Louisiana’s National Guard crew "plays no role, direct or indirect, in the ill-conceived policy of separating families."
  
Edwards described himself as "deeply disturbed" by the Trump administration’s decision to separate families apprehended at the border, a policy which has drawn widespread condemnation. The governor called it an "unconscionable practice."