RENO, Nev. — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval opposes President Donald Trump’s current proposal to send thousands of National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border to help federal officials fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking, his spokeswoman said Friday.
The Trump administration has not contacted the Republican governor’s office about the idea, press secretary Mary-Sarah Kinner said in an email to The Associated Press.
But as proposed, Sandoval “does not think this would be an appropriate use of the Nevada National Guard,” Kinner wrote.
Trump said Thursday he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 Guard members to the border.
Republican governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas back the deployment.
Kinner said the Nevada Guard has participated in past border security missions that involved both a “surveillance and life-saving mission.”
“If a proposal that was consistent with life-saving missions was necessary and/or requested, (Sandoval) would consider such a request,” she said.
Nevada’s congressional delegation was divided on the matter.
Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., sent a letter to Sandoval on Thursday urging him to deny any request to deploy Nevada guard members, and tweeted that sending troops to the border is “rash and politically motivated.”
“The deployment of National Guard troops at this time puts Nevadans at risk, is premature and unnecessary and will further damage our relationship with Mexico,” Titus wrote to Sandoval. “Nevada’s National Guard should not be used as political pawns in President Trump’s impulsive immigration policy.”
Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said Friday he supports the move to help free up U.S. Border Patrol agents to better do their jobs.
“They’re talking about support services — we’re doing the mechanic stuff, we’re doing whatever — so that those folks who are sworn Border Patrol agents can be out on the pointy end of the spear doing their thing, and so it makes them more efficient,” he told KKOH Radio in Reno. “I’m OK with that.”