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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STATON BREIDENTHAL --5/10/18-- Crew members (left to right) CW2 Richard Rogers, Sgt. Steve Guinn, CW5 Jeff Apke and Sgt. Jake Brandt go through their pre-flight briefing Thursday morning at Camp Robinson before flying their Arkansas National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopter to New Mexico for a border patrol mission. The guard is sending 10 soldiers and two helicopters to assist the Border Patrol in reconnaissance operations. - Photo by Staton Breidenthal

The top Democrats in the state House and Senate asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday to end the deployment of Arkansas National Guard soldiers assisting Border Patrol operations at the southern border of the U.S.

House Minority Leader Charles Blake and Senate Minority Leader Keith Ingram sent separate letters to Hutchinson. The letters also ask the Arkansas National Guard's top official to testify before a joint legislative committee regarding the deployment.

An early draft of Blake's letter obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette asks the governor to end his commitment to deploy National Guard troops and to renounce President Donald Trump's "zero-tolerance" on immigration, which has been enforced through the separation of families caught crossing the border.

Trump later on Wednesday signed an executive order to keep families together.

[RELATED: In reversal, Trump signs order stopping family separation at border]

"What is happening at the border right now is a disgrace and it is not American," Blake said earlier in the day.

The governor's office did have an immediate comment on the letter, but Hutchinson on Twitter said that the "separation of families at the border is a concern to every compassionate American."

[RELATED: Governor says federal agency considering 2 sites in Arkansas to house migrants]

According to a spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard, eight guardsmen and two helicopters are currently deployed in areas of New Mexico to aid in patrolling the border.

Those soldiers are not participating in any law enforcement activities, according to guard spokesman Major Will Phillips, and are mainly conducting air observation.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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  • teachercop
    June 20, 2018 at 1:52 p.m.

    The deployment will continue.

  • Bigracoon
    June 20, 2018 at 2:52 p.m.

    Top Democrats ask Governor to bring back troops from the border. Why is it that every request is right down party lines and not what the people want or need. They wonder why the typical person is so sick and tired of this stupidity. Vote and request what is best for our country.
    Like the President or not, what has happened to the respect for the office. Why is it everything that is being done by him is immediately condemned? The folks hollering for gun control have heavily armed bodyguards, They keep bashing him but are making a huge amount of money on his economic policies. North Korea is now in dialogue with us over nuclear disarmament. i guess if you want your fifteen minutes, you cuss the president on television. Attacking his personal family is the lowest of human beings. We never disrespected President Obama, even though he almost ruined this country. He gave away almost everything, including our dignity to the world. Let the President do his job and work with him and not immediately against him. Have open dialogue and work on good
    solutions, not just yelling and cussing.

  • Vickie55
    June 20, 2018 at 2:57 p.m.

    Big, I am prepared to show Trump the same amount of respect that was shown to Obama for the last eight years

  • abb
    June 20, 2018 at 3:25 p.m.

    Democrats: soft on illegals, hard on citizens.....

  • punk47
    June 20, 2018 at 3:36 p.m.

    Top Democrats what a bunch of nuts

  • JiminyC56
    June 20, 2018 at 3:48 p.m.

    I wish Asa would send more of our fine soldiers.

  • Jfish
    June 20, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.

    I guess the "State's Top Democrats" still aren't paying much attention to the polls. Most Arkansans want our immigration laws enforced and have no issue with the National Guard assisting in that effort.

  • itryed
    June 20, 2018 at 4:41 p.m.

    Jim int and Abb, the dry cleaners called. Your brown shirts are ready.

  • Foghorn
    June 20, 2018 at 5:11 p.m.

    If anyone did any actual research before posting, he/she would know that NG cannot make apprehensions; only BP is authorized to do so. NG troops are relegated to grading roads and mending fences - literally. That’s all they’re doing. And it’s costing taxpayers more than $250M. I’m guessing these tasks could be outsourced to the private sector for much less. Or at least keep our NG troops at home and have them fix our own shltty AR roads.

  • GeneralMac
    June 20, 2018 at 7:33 p.m.

    "top Democrats"

    An oxymoron in Arkansas.

    The Democratic party in Arkansas is like a horned Hereford who just received a de- horning and castration.