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Louisiana state senators want National Guard to leave border

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Democratic state senators pushed legislation Friday asking Gov. John Bel Edwards to recall Louisiana National Guard troops at the Texas border until separated families who entered illegally are reunited with their children.

A Senate committee advanced the legislation sponsored by New Orleans Sen. J.P. Morrell with a 3-1 vote, solely on Democratic support. Republican Sen. Neil Riser voted against the measure.
Louisiana has had a three-person National Guard team and one helicopter at the border since May. Edwards, a Democrat, announced Wednesday that the team will remain until mid-July as planned.

“Though I appreciate our governor, I support our governor, I do not support him in that position,” Morrell said.

Edwards said the crew had no role in separating families, a policy the governor criticized as “unconscionable.” The Trump administration enacted the policy and then reversed it this week. But hundreds of children removed from their families have yet to be reunited with their parents.

Morrell said his legislation shows that Louisiana doesn’t approve of the Trump administration’s approach to illegal immigration and the separation of families. He said there’s no way to be certain that Louisiana’s National Guard crew isn’t somehow helping with identifying families who crossed the border illegally and were separated.

The measure has no force of law. It simply would “urge and request” the governor to bring the National Guard team home. The legislation moves next to the full Senate for debate.