Gov. Brown agrees to deploy 400 National Guard troops but not for immigration enforcement

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to deploy 400 National Guard troops at President Donald Trump's request -- but not for immigration enforcement.

Brown penned a defiant letter to the Trump administration Wednesday, saying he will accept federal funding to add approximately 400 Guard members statewide. However, the governor said the additional troops will "supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime."

MORE: President Donald Trump signs proclamation to deploy National Guard to US-Mexico border
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President Donald Trump signed a proclamation directing the National Guard to combat illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

While the governor accepted the funding for extra troops, he was very clear about what the additional troops will not be doing.

"But let's be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws."

Brown added that "there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California," saying that overall, immigration apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they've been in nearly 50 years.

The letter was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis and posted on Brown's twitter account with the caption: "California responds."

The White House praised Brown's decision and made no mention of his comments about not participating in immigration enforcement activities.

"We're also glad to see California Gov. Jerry Brown work with the administration and send members of the National Guard to help secure the southern border," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Trump wants up to 4,000 troops sent to the border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Brown said in the letter that the California Guard members may be deployed at the border, the coast and elsewhere statewide.

Brown's office said the deployment will happen pending review and approval by the federal government.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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