Sara Malm, Associated Press and Daily Mail, February 10, 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Several hundred National Guard troops will be withdrawn from the Californian border with Mexico, Governor Gavin Newsom’s office announced today.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.
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.
Newsom’s Monday order will argue that the increase in Central American migrants crossing over the border is the result of a desire to escape violence and repression fueled in part by the activities of transnational crime organizations. The California guard’s resources are best spent tackling those activities, he plans to argue.
He has held up California as an antidote to what he deems a corrupt Washington, a message he’s likely to echo in Tuesday’s State of the State speech, his first as governor.
Texas and Arizona still have troops on the border.
The 360 troops are a fraction of the roughly 14,000 that have been deployed throughout California for various operations since 2016.