California Gov. Gavin Newsom Pulling National Guard From State’s Border With Mexico

February 11, 2019, 4:41 PM UTC

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is removing the National Guard from the state’s border with Mexico.

Newsom reportedly plans today to sign an executive order ending the deployment, ahead of his Tuesday State of the State speech.

Trump’s own plan to deploy an additional 3,750 guardsmen to the border is thought to be one of the motivations behind Newsom’s decision. The 360 California National Guard troops currently stationed on the state’s Mexico border will be re-deployed to support wildfire suppression efforts, expand the Counterdrug Task Force, and work on collecting intelligence on drug cartels.

According to his prepared remarks, for his State of the State address, Newsom will deem “the border ‘emergency’” a “manufactured crisis.”

“California will not be part of this political theater, which is why I have given the National Guard a new mission. They will refocus on the real threats facing our state,” Newsom is expected to say.

Newsom’s decision follows a similar move by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who announced last week that she would pull most of the state’s National Guard troops from the border. Grisham claimed that Trump’s “charade of border fear mongering” was the only reason for their deployment.

Ordering removal of the National Guard reverses a decision made by former California Gov. Jerry Brown, Newsom’s predecessor. Brown allowed Trump to deploy the National Guard on the state’s border, only if they weren’t used to enforce immigration laws.

Last summer, a number of governors pulled or canceled National Guard deployments in response to the Trump administration’s family separation policy for immigrants illegally crossing the border. Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina pulled troops, while Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Oregon refused to send troops at all—some even before they received requests from Trump.