Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

California governor to pull National Guard troops from border

California governor to pull National Guard troops from border

Gavin Newsom ordered the withdrawal of most of the National Guard troops now deployed at the state's southern border in a public rebuke to President Donald Trump.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown had agreed to deploy the National Guard troops last April under the condition that they "will not enforce immigration laws or participate in the construction of any new border barrier".

He plans to redeploy 110 troops to assist with wildfire preparation and 150 will work on the state's counterdrug task force program.

100 troops for intelligence operations targeting drug cartels.

Last week President Trump tweeted that he is sending additional US military to the Southern Border, saying, "Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border".

Newsom's order calls for National Guard troops to be pulled back from the border no later than March 31. The new governor told the California National Guard Adjutant General David Baldwin to get ready for a "menu of options" upon Newsom's first full day in office.

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Although Trump has ordered thousands of military personnel to be deployed on the southern border, the National Guard remain under the command of authorities in each state.

"The border "emergency" is a manufactured crisis," Newsom is expected to say during his State of the State address on Tuesday, according to an excerpt from his prepared remarks. He made clear his intention to challenge Trump on border and immigration policy, and there is no indication that this will be anything but wildly popular in California. The troop reassignment still needs approval from the U.S. Department of Defense.

"New Mexico will not take part in the president's charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops", she said. Newsom publicly crossed swords with his predecessor Jerry Brown over the deployment during the gubernatorial campaign previous year, albeit in more respectful terms.

Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to help build that wall was central to a 35-day partial US government shutdown that ended last month.

Last week, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the removal of most her state's troops just hours before the president's address, saying she rejected "the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border". "It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life".

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