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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam joins other governors removing resources from border

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2017 file photo, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam describes his view on confederate monuments in McLean, Va. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via AP, Pool, File)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he is withdrawing the state's National Guard resources from the border until the policy of separating undocumented immigrants from their children ends.

“When Virginia deployed these resources to the border, we expected that they would play a role in preventing criminals, drug runners and other threats to our security from crossing into the United States—not supporting a policy of arresting families and separating children from their parents."

On Tuesday, four Virginia National Guard soldiers and one helicopter were withdrawn from the U.S. Southwest border.

“Virginia benefits from the important work of securing our border and we have a responsibility to contribute to that mission. However, we also have a responsibility to stand up to policies or actions that run afoul of the values that define us as Americans. Today I spoke with the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard and ordered him to withdraw four soldiers and one helicopter from Arizona until the federal government ends its enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy that separates children from their parents."

The crew was assisting the Arizona National Guard in surveillance operations on the border as part of a 90-day mission.

The Virginia governor, a Democrat, said he is ready to return the resources when President Donald Trump ends the "zero-tolerance policy."

“Let me be clear—we are ready to return and contribute to the real work of keeping our nation safe. But as long as the Trump administration continues to enforce this inhumane policy, Virginia will not devote any resource to border enforcement actions that could actively or tacitly support it. I urge President Trump and leaders in Washington to turn away from this zero-tolerance policy and come to the table on the real immigration reform this nation needs.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made a similar announcement just hours earlier on Tuesday, as did Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker the day before. Both are Republicans.

The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island have also pulled National Guard troops, according to The New York Times.

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The Associated Press attributed to this story.

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