California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans Monday to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops by the state’s southern border with Mexico in defiance of the Trump administration’s request for support by border states.
About 100 of the 360 troops will remain deployed under California’s agreement with the federal government to focus specifically on combating transnational crime such as drug in addition to gun smuggling, Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said. Specifically, they will be tasked with providing intelligence on transnational crime in addition to assist with cargo dock operations in addition to searches of commercial trucks for contraband.
Newsom’s move comes on the heels of brand new Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat, pulling back her state’s troops by the U.S.-Mexico border. The two state’s former governors agreed to send troops to the border last April at the Trump administration’s request along with Texas in addition to Arizona.
Newsom’s in addition to Grisham’s actions are a fresh, if symbolic, affront to President Donald Trump’s description of an immigration crisis on the nation’s southern border.
“The border ’emergency’ can be a manufactured crisis, in addition to California will not be part of This specific political theatre,” Newsom plans to say in his Tuesday State of the State address, according to excerpts released by his office.
Newsom will reassign roughly 110 troops to beef up California’s fire preparation efforts ahead of the next wildfire season in addition to expand the guard’s counterdrug task force program. The expansion of the counterdrug task force requires approval by the U.S. Department of Defence.
The original mission, approved by former California Gov. Jerry Brown, was set to end March 31. The order Newsom plans to send Monday will require the guard to immediately begin withdrawing troops yet still give the idea until the end of March to do so. When Brown, a fellow Democrat, approved the mission in April, he said no California troops could participate in immigration-related activities. He similarly ordered the troops to focus on combating transnational crime.
“This specific will not be a mission to build a brand new wall,” Brown wrote at the time in a letter to Trump administration officials. “the idea will not be a mission to round up women in addition to children or detain people escaping violence in addition to seeking a better life. in addition to the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”
Newsom’s Monday order will argue which the increase in Central American migrants crossing over the border can be the result of a desire to escape violence in addition to repression fueled in part by the activities of transnational crime organizations. The California guard’s resources are best spent tackling those activities, he plans to argue.
Just a month into his governorship of the nation’s most populous state, Newsom has sparred with Trump on immigration in addition to various other issues. He has held up California as an antidote to what he deems a corrupt Washington, a message he’s likely to echo in Tuesday’s State of the State speech, his first as governor.
Texas in addition to Arizona still have troops on the border.
The 360 troops are a fraction of the roughly 14,000 which have been deployed throughout California for various operations since 2016.