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UPDATED: LePage Of Maine Bucks Other N.E. Governors, Will Send Guard Troops To Border

New England Governors
From left to right: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Photos by Mary Schwalm, Cheryl Senter, Jessica Hill, Elise Amendola/AP

Updated 6/20/2018, 5:20 P.M.

Maine Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, announced Wednesday he will deploy a National Guard helicopter and two pilots to the southwest border at the beginning of July. He is the only New England governor to do so.

The crew will provide support to Customs and Border Control until the end of September, and "will not be involved in any law enforcement activities," according to a statement sent by LePage Press Secretary Julie Rabinowitz to WGBH News.

Earlier this week, four New England governors — including two other Republicans — joined Charlie Baker of Massachusetts in condemning President Donald Trump's policy of separating the children of migrants from their families. In a reversal, Trump signed an executive order ending the practice of family separation on Wednesday.

Prior to the reversal, the governors of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire said they had not been requested to deploy National Guard troops to the border, but would not comply if requested or do not plan to.

Baker announced Monday he was canceling a planned deployment of Massachusetts National Guard troops to the border, citing the “inhumane” practice of separating immigrant children from their families. The Massachusetts crew was to “provide aviation reconnaissance to offer an additional tool for observation and tracking of unlawful activity in the region,” according to the Mass National Guard.

Here’s a closer look at how New England states have responded.

New Hampshire
Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, said he would not send New Hampshire National Guard troops to the border. “The New Hampshire National Guard has not been contacted, and I will not send our New Hampshire troops to the southern border to separate families,” said a statement from his office sent to WGBH News Tuesday.

Previously, Sununu’s office said the decision would depend on the details of the specific request.

A spokeswoman for Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, said Tuesday that — while Scott will “evaluate any request on a case by case basis as it comes in,” no formal request has been received, and Scott “has been consistent that he does not plan to deploy [Vermont] National Guard troops or assets to the southern border per the President’s call for troops put forward in April.”

Scott said in April shortly after President Trump’s proclamation calling for troops that he “would not be eager” to fulfill any such request.

Rhode Island
Governor Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, said that her state had not been contacted to deploy National Guard troops to the border, but that she would not comply if asked.

“I have not yet been asked, but if I am, I will not deploy units from the Rhode Island National Guard to the southern border to support the Administration's policy that is ripping families apart,” Raimondo said in a statement released Tuesday.

Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, said Monday he would not send Connecticut National Guard troops to the border.

“As I have stated in the past, I will not condone the use of our military reservists to participate in any effort at the border that is connected to this inhumane practice,” he said in a statement sent to WGBH News.

“This vile practice must end,” the statement continued.

The state has not received a request for National Guard troops, according to a spokesman for Malloy’s office.

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