California Gov. Gavin Newsom is slated to pull several hundred National Guard troops from the state’s border with Mexico on Monday in an apparent rebuff to President Donald Trump’s characterization of the region being under siege by Central American refugees and migrants, according to reports.
The move comes despite his predecessor’s agreement – along with other past and current border state governors – to send troops to the border at the Trump administration’s request. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown originally approved the mission through the end of March, but qualified that the state’s troops “will not be enforcing federal immigration laws,” Fox News reports.
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 said.
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.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.