National Guard mobilized to combat transnational crime

Following through on his commitment to fight transnational crime, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently announced that the state will mobilize up to 400 California National Guard personnel to combat criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers — within the state, along the coast and at the U.S.-Mexico border — after securing the federal government’s commitment this week to fund the mission. The personnel will supplement the staffing of the guard’s ongoing program, which includes 250 members statewide – 55 of whom are currently supporting counterdrug work at the U.S.-Mexico border in California.

Consistent with the terms spelled out in Brown’s letter, the governor’s order, issued recently, specifies that the California National Guard will not enforce immigration laws or participate in the construction of any new border barrier. The location of guard personnel – and number specifically working in support of operations within the state, along the coast and at the U.S. -Mexico border – will continue to be dictated by the needs on the ground. Some guard personnel are expected to deploy before the end of the month and the mission will continue until at least September 30 – the end of the federal fiscal year.

The recent announcement reflects two weeks of productive discussions between the Brown administration – including the California National Guard and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services – and its federal counterparts and follows similar targeted guard assistance provided by the state in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

The text of the order issued by Governor Brown in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the California National Guard is below:
Governor’s general
order number 2018-01.

In response to the request from the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, and consistent with my April 11, 2018 letter to Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Mattis, I issue the following General Order under sections 146 and 365 of the California Military and Veterans Code and in accordance with article V, section 7 of the California Constitution as the Commander-in-Chief of the California National Guard.

You shall call into active service up to 400 service members of the active militia, under section 502(f) of Title 32 of the United States Code, as needed to:

•Combat the non-linear threat of transnational crime that extends to areas of California beyond the U.S. – Mexico border;

•Disrupt transnational criminal gangs and human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers.

•Interdict illegal firearm and drug shipments crossing both directions of the U.S.-Mexico border and through coastal and offshore routes.

•Execute counterdrug and counter-narcoterrorism operations crossing both directions of the border and through coastal and offshore routes.

•Coordinate with federal officials to deploy personnel and equipment where needed to fulfill this mission.

•Coordinate with the adjutant general of any other state as needed to fulfill this mission.

•Arm military personnel with issued military weapons during this mission only when you or your designee determine there is a mission requirement for doing so.

•Ensure all California National Guard forces participating in this mission comply with the California National Guard’s Rules for the Use of Force.

California National Guard service members shall not engage in any direct law enforcement role nor enforce immigration laws, arrest people for immigration law violations, guard people taken into custody for alleged immigration violations, or support immigration law enforcement activities. California National Guard service members shall not participate in the construction of any new border barrier.

You shall decline missions that would compromise the state’s ability to respond to state emergencies, missions that would exceed the mission scope and limitations outlined above, or missions that do not meet a valid state and/or national security interest.

This order will remain in effect until September 30, 2018 unless further modified or rescinded in writing by me.

Click here to submit a letter to the editor about this post.