CA Gov. Gavin Newsom To Draw Down National Guard Troops at Border
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
February 11, 2019
California Governor Gavin Newsom plans to withdraw nearly 400 of the state's National Guard troops from its mission along the U.S. border with Mexico and assign them to other duties like wildfire prevention, according to reports.
Around 100 of the 360 troops currently deployed to the border will remain there under an agreement the state has with the federal government that focuses specifically on transnational crimes, like drug and gun smuggling. They'll be tasked with providing intelligence about crime as well as provide assistance with cargo dock operations and searches of commercial trucks that cross the border.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced last week her state would be pulling back her state's national guard from the border. “New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
Newsom is set to call the border emergency a "manufactured crisis" in Tuesday's State of the State address and that California "will not be part of this political theatre."
"Which is why I have given the National Guard a new mission," he is scheduled to say. "They will refocus on the real threats facing our state."
Roughly 110 of the troops being pulled back from California's border with Mexico will be reassigned to help prepare for the upcoming fire season in California. The troops will also help expand the guard's counterdrug task force, a move that will require approval from the U.S. Department of Defense.
California Gov. Jerry Brown approved the National Guard's mission before leaving office last year, which is set to expire on March 31. Newsom's order requires the National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the mission immediately, but gives them until the end of March to do so.
"This will not be a mission to build a new wall," Brown wrote at the time. "It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws."
More than 1,100 Texas National Guard troops are deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border, with another 580 in Arizona.
Photos: Getty Images