If Trump asks Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to send troops, she tweeted Wednesday, she will “say no.”
“As Commander of Oregon’s Guard, I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border,” she said.
Trump signed a proclamation on Wednesday that uses a provision in the U.S. Code called Title 32 to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border.
Under this provision, which does not “federalize” the Guard, Trump can only request that state governors provide troops to help bolster border security. That means governors like Brown can refuse to comply.
Brown said on Twitter that the president has not reached out to her with a deployment request, but added she has “no intention of allowing Oregon’s guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington” even if he does.
The White House has given few details about what the Guard deployment might involve.
On Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the total number of troops had yet to be determined. “We’re going to be sending as many troops as we need,” she said, according to The Associated Press.
It remains unclear whether the deployed guardsmen will be armed.
Nielsen said she was working with governors of the southern-border states to determine where and how troops will be deployed. Texas, Arizona and New Mexico appear to support the plan, the AP reported. Nielsen said she would be speaking with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Thursday in hopes of getting his support.
The administration has not indicated whether it will ask other states to provide troops for the deployment effort.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the California governor, who has previously accused the Trump administration of “basically going to war” with his state over immigration policy, could say no to the deployment request.
Although Trump has suggested that his plan to send troops to the border is an exceptional move, past presidents ― including Barack Obama and George W. Bush ― also deployed the National Guard to the Mexican border during their time in office.