Capitol News

Latinx lawmakers oppose Rauner's plan for National Guard

ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- We may be thousands of miles away from the Mexican border, but debate over its security has hit the state Capitol.

Governor Bruce Rauner says, if President Donald Trump asks the state to send National Guard troops south, he'll comply. The idea has several lawmakers outraged.

A colonel from the National Guard says it's all speculation right now. They haven't heard anything suggesting troops would be deployed, but it didn't stop Senate members, many from the Latino Caucus, from taking action.

They just passed a resolution with a public statement condemning Rauner for his stance. Caucus members say sending troops to the border is a "misuse of taxpayer dollars, a disservice to Illinoisans who may need their services and an insult to a nation our state has strong ties to."

So far, California, Texas and Arizona have all agreed to send troops.

In 2014 - 2016, Illinois did the same when the Obama Administration asked, as well as for the Bush Administration. It's unclear how much a deployment would cost taxpayers, but it would be federal dollars, not state dollars, spent.

In previous years, the state's National Guard sent about ten troops and a helicopter to the border.

Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), with the Latino Caucus, released this statement:

Gov. Rauner's support for sending Illinois National Guard troops to carry out President Trump's deranged immigration policies demonstrates the governor's open hostility toward communities in my district.

Major General Richard J. Hayes, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, released this statement:

The Illinois National Guard plays a vital role in protecting both the state and nation and we will follow the lawful orders of both the Governor and the President. The Illinois National Guard has routinely and simultaneously responded to both state and national emergencies and overseas contingencies throughout its history. Most recently we responded to Hurricane Maria both through state active duty and federal orders while also supporting overseas operations. In the past, we have supported missions on the southwest border at the request of both President Bush and President Obama. We have not received any southwest border mission requests from the current administration, but would evaluate any such request in the same way.


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