Calif. gov. to pull troops from border
Guard to focus on wildfire prevention
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As a second partial government shutdown looms in Washington over border discussions, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered the removal of roughly 360 National Guard members from California’s southern boundary with Mexico, repudiating President Donald Trump’s characterization of a recent influx of Central American refugees and migrants as a national security crisis.
The announcement comes just a day before the governor delivers his first State of the State address today, setting the stage for Newsom to counter Trump’s State of the Union address last week.
In released excerpts of his speech, Newsom says he is giving the National Guard a new mission so that troops would not take part in the White House’s “political theater” and instead “refocus on the real threats facing our state.” The governor said he would redeploy the troops to support wildfire prevention efforts, and expand operations to counter drugs and cartels across California, with a group of forces trained in spotting narcotics to be stationed at the state’s international points of entry.
“The Border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis,” Newsom is expected to say today. “This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism.”
Newsom’s move is an escalation of a long-running battle over immigration between California and the federal government.
The president has threatened to invoke emergency powers to fund construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. A budget standoff between Trump and congressional Democrats over the proposal led to a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history. Parts of the government could close again if Congress and the White House do not reach a spending deal by Friday.
Newsom is the second governor this month to pull National Guard troops assigned to the southern border.
Last week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat, ordered the removal of most her state’s troops just hours before the president’s address.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his decision to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops from the nation’s southern border in Sacramento on Monday.