Newly-elected California state Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that he plans to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops from California’s southern border with Mexico.
The move comes as a direct defiance of the Trump administration’s request that border states cooperate with his extreme and outlandish demands on border security, including his prized “wall.”
Per a previous agreement, while many troops are being requested by Gov. Newsom to return home, 100 of the 360 currently-deployed troops will remain at the California border.
Before the briefing today from Sacramento, California, Newsom spoke with reporters before signing an executive order which will change the troops’ mission. Newsom slammed the Trump administration’s policies as “absurd theatrics” and added:
‘I’m trying to acknowledge there are some legitimate concerns but I’m not going to play into the hype and the politics.’
The previously-instated agreement has specific parameters, meant to combat transnational crime such as drug and gun smuggling. It was signed by Trump on April 4, 2018, and the chart below was used to supplement and support Trump’s demand regarding troops.
Trump, at that time, added:
‘the security of the United States is imperiled by a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border.
‘the situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis.’
In 2018, while Jerry Brown was still governor of California, he rebuked Trump, publicly stating what troops will not be doing while deployed:
‘But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. 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.’
Newsom has joined New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who recently announced that her state also plans to pull back on troops at the U.S.-Mexico border.
On Tuesday, Newsom plans to deliver his State of the Union address. Here’s an excerpt from the upcoming speech, regarding the situation and the Mexico border:
‘The border ’emergency’ is a manufactured crisis, and California will not be part of this political theater.’
In addition to the obvious reason for removal of troops, Newsom stated that the move is also, in part, to prepare for the upcoming California wildfire season. While he’s been clear about removing troops, he will also be expanding the guard’s counterdrug task force program.
So far, it seems that Newsom is living up to his claims that he’ll “lead the resistance” against Trump as California’s state governor.
Here is the full video of Newsom’s remarks today on withdrawing troops from the border:
Featured image via YouTube screenshot.