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The Latest: US sees room for California pact on border

April 17, 2018

FILE - In this March 13, 2018, file photo, a motorcade carrying President Donald Trump drives along the border in San Diego. California has rejected the federal government's initial plans for National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration enforcement. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s plan to send up to 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A U.S. Homeland Security Department spokesman says the federal government is committed to working with California Gov. Jerry Brown to mobilize the state’s National Guard in its border mission.

Tyler Houlton said in a tweet that the California governor shares an interest on securing the border with Mexico.

His comments came after federal officials said Brown wouldn’t allow troops to perform tasks that were planned for an initial rollout but that they would continue working with the governor to collaborate in other ways. State officials denied they had rejected any requests.

Last week, Brown pledged 400 troops to Trump’s border mission on condition that they have nothing to do with immigration enforcement.

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2:05 p.m.

The National Guard Bureau’s vice chief says about 900 guard members are deployed so far for President Donald Trump’s effort to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson said Monday that about 650 are deployed in Texas, with close to 250 in Arizona and more than 60 in New Mexico.

Trump wants to send up to 4,000 troops to the border and has commitments for about 2,400 from those states and California.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Integration Robert G. Salesses says there is no estimate for the operation’s cost, which is funded by the U.S. government.

Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello says troops that work at border crossings will perform cargo inspections that are not viewable by the general public.

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1:45 p.m.

Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello says California’s governor has determined that some tasks federal officials want the state’s National Guard to perform at the U.S.-Mexico border are “unsupportable.”

Vitiello made the comments to reporters in Washington Monday after two U.S. officials told The Associated Press said terms of the federal government’s initial plans for sending National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has pledged 400 troops to the effort by Trump to send up to 4,000 troops to the border.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Integration Robert G. Salesses says officials wanted 237 for service in two areas of California with “a set of mission responsibility there that California National Guard has indicated they will not perform.”

He added that talks are ongoing.

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11 a.m.

Two officials have told The Associated Press that California has rejected terms of the federal government’s initial plans for sending National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration.

Gov. Jerry Brown elicited rare and effusive praise from President Donald Trump last week for pledging 400 troops to the Guard’s third large-scale border mission since 2006. But the Democratic governor conditioned his commitment on troops having nothing to do with immigration enforcement, even in a supporting role.

Brown’s offer of troops for the mission that Trump wants up to 4,000 troops to perform is still in place.

Talks are ongoing and the federal government has yet to publicly respond to Brown’s demand that troops avoid immigration enforcement or the state’s position on avoiding the specific jobs proposed, the officials said.

— By Elliot Spagat

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This version corrects the first item to reflect that Salesses, not Vitiello, talked about requests for a mission for 237 California troops.

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