Charlie Baker Will No Longer Send the National Guard to the Border

"[T]he federal government’s current actions are resulting in the inhumane treatment of children," his office said.

Charlie Baker speaks at the 2018 State of the Commonwealth

Photo via State House News Service

In light of a harsh new policy under Trump of separating immigrant families who cross into the country illegally, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, says he no longer plans to send a helicopter and crew from the state’s National Guard to the U.S./Mexico border.

“Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal government’s current actions are resulting in the inhumane treatment of children,” Baker Communications Director Lizzy Guyton said in a statement.

Baker had originally planned to comply with a request from the Pentagon for help policing the border in Arizona. A two-person crew and chopper were scheduled to head there at the end of the month at the federal government’s expense. He had reportedly downplayed the seriousness of the decision, noting that the state’s contribution to policing the border would be small and that Massachusetts has sent members of the National Guard to the border at the request of both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Asked about Baker’s decision at a press briefing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she hadn’t heard his comments and added that if he is unhappy with the government’s policy, “He should call every member of Congress, particularly those in his own state, and tell them to fix the laws.”

The move comes as Trump’s crackdown on families at the border has proven unpopular, and has sparked bipartisan condemnation. Massachusetts lawmakers have spoken out loudly against the policy, including Rep. Joe Kennedy III, who traveled to the border in Texas to protest at a “tent city” for children.