Maryland, Virginia vow not to deploy National Guard at border over family separations
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam have vowed not to deploy any National Guard resources to the U.S.-Mexico border as long as the Trump administration orders the separation of families, a policy that has sparked outrage throughout the nation.
"Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border. Earlier this morning, I ordered our 4 crewmembers and helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico," Hogan tweeted Tuesday morning.
"Today I'm recalling four Virginia National Guard soldiers and one helicopter from Arizona. Virginia will not devote any resource to border enforcement actions that support the inhumane policy of separating children from their parents," Northam tweeted.
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.
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Under a "zero tolerance" policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security officials are now referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.
Since then, stories of weeping children torn from the arms of their frightened parents have flooded the media and the policy has been widely criticized by church groups, politicians and children's advocates who say it is inhumane. A battle in Congress is brewing in part over the issue.
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Top conservatives, including key Trump allies, announced they were introducing bills to stop the practice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.