Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) is no longer sending national guardsmen to the U.S./Mexico border, citing the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy as the primary reason.
“We told the National Guard to hold steady and to not go down to the border —period,” Gov. Baker told reporters on Monday. “We won’t be supporting that initiative unless they change the policy.”
Initially, Gov. Baker pledged to send a UH-72 Lakota helicopter and two military analysts in the fight against drug smuggling along the border. However, with Monday’s reversal, the Baker administration is backing down entirely from supporting his party’s president in terms of sending resources to the border.
However, gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez — a Democrat running against Baker in the 2018 election, criticized his Republican opponent for even promising to send national guard equipment and personnel to support the Trump administration’s border policy when it was originally offered.
“[Baker] should have never offered our state’s resources to enforce Donald Trump’s inhumane immigration policy in the first place,” Gonzalez said.
The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has drawn scorn from other Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), who tweeted on Monday evening that separating children from their parents was “an affront to the decency of the American people.”
“The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now,” McCain tweeted.
The administration’s current family separation policy is an affront to the decency of the American people, and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded. The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 18, 2018
In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions originally announced the policy of separating children from their parents when detained at the border. However, the idea was initially floated by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in 2017. President Trump has blamed Democrats in Congress (who are the minority party in both chambers) for his administration’s separation of children, although the New York Times fact-checked that claim and found it to be demonstrably false.
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.