‘This is a manufactured crisis’: California Democrat governor to withdraw hundreds of National Guard troops from the Mexican border as he slams Trump and says his state ‘will not be part of this political theater’

Monday, February 11, 2019
By Paul Martin

Some 260 National Guard troops to be withdrawn from California-Mexico border
Withdrawal announced by the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom
About 100 stay to focus on combating crime such as drug and gun smuggling

11 February 2019

Several hundred National Guard troops will be withdrawn from the Californian border with Mexico, Governor Gavin Newsom’s office announced today.

The plans laid out by the Democrat governor is in defiance of the Trump administration’s request for support from border states.

Newsom also plans to declare that the so-called US border emergency is a ‘manufactured crisis, and California will not be part of this political theater,’ in his State of the State address tomorrow, according to excerpts released by his office.

About 100 of the 360 troops will remain deployed under California’s agreement with the federal government to focus specifically on combating transnational crime such as drug and gun smuggling, Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said.

Specifically, they will be tasked with providing intelligence on transnational crime and assist with cargo dock operations and searches of commercial trucks for contraband.

Newsom’s move comes on the heels of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat, pulling back her state’s troops from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The two state’s former governors agreed to send troops to the border last April at the Trump administration’s request along with Texas and Arizona.

Newsom’s and Grisham’s actions are a fresh, if symbolic, affront to President Donald Trump’s description of an immigration crisis on the nation’s southern border.

Newsom will reassign roughly 110 troops to beef up California’s fire preparation efforts ahead of the next wildfire season and expand the guard’s counterdrug task force program. The expansion of the counterdrug task force requires approval from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The original mission, approved by former California Gov. Jerry Brown, was set to end March 31.

The order Newsom plans to send Monday will require the guard to immediately begin withdrawing troops but still give it until the end of March to do so.

When Brown, a fellow Democrat, approved the mission in April, he said no California troops would participate in immigration-related activities. He similarly ordered the troops to focus on combating transnational crime.

‘This will not be a mission to build a new wall,’ Brown wrote at the time in a letter to Trump administration officials.

‘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.’

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