Massachusetts’ governor says family separations are “inhumane” and rescinds National Guard offer

“By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”
“By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”
Image: REUTERS / Brian Snyder
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Amidst a wave of prominent Republican figures who have come out against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of separating the children of undocumented immigrants from their parents, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has withdrawn his offer to send state National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border.

The Republican governor announced Monday (June 18) that, in light of the family separations, he is revoking his earlier pledge to send two National Guard military analysts and a helicopter to the border.

“Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal government’s current actions are resulting in the inhumane treatment of children,” Lizzy Guyton, the governor’s communications director, told local news station WGBH News.

The governor had made the decision to deploy the Massachusetts National Guard to the border earlier this month in response to a presidential proclamation signed by Donald Trump in April, which allows US governors to review requests from the federal government to deploy National Guard troops under Title 32, Chapter 9 of the US code. Now, Baker says, “We won’t be supporting that initiative unless they change their policy.”

Governor Baker is not the first to push back against the president’s request. Oregon governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, said she would refuse to send troops to the border if asked, and both Vermont governor Phil Scott and Montana governor Steve Bullock expressed reservations as well.

In calling the Trump administration’s family separation policy “cruel and inhumane,” Baker joined an increasingly loud chorus of prominent Republicans breaking rank with the Republican-held White House on the issue of family separation. ”Border security is important — no one disputes that,” Baker said, “but separating kids from their families is not.”