Governor Gavin Newsom's office said he was signing the order ahead of his State of the State speech on Tuesday. Staying along the border will be a group of around 100 guard troops who focus on intelligence, drug-trafficking enforcement, and inspecting commercial vehicles.
"The border "emergency" is a manufactured crisis", Newsom plans to say. Known to NPR listeners from his many years talking all things politics with Neal Conan on "Talk of the Nation", joins Insight host Beth Ruyak for our signature segment that puts California politics in the context of the national scene.
Newsom's announcement follows a similar announcement made last week by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who announced that she would be withdrawing all National Guard troops from her state's southern border with Mexico.
Then-California Senate leader Kevin De León and 26 state legislators urged Brown to end the National Guard agreement. 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. The federal government is paying the cost of deployment. Grisham also pulled back state troopers from the border, meaning half of the border states have now defied Trump's demands. He said he had yielded because he got the federal government to ante up for it and the members were still supervised by the state. The governor plans to reassign the soldiers to help with wildfire prevention and combat drug smuggling across the state, according to local reports.
"We look forward to working with the State to serve the needs of asylum-seeking families in San Diego County as they exercise their legal, human right to seek safety and protection from violence and persecution in their home countries". The troops can not act to enforce the law or to make arrests. As NPR's Greg Myre has reported, the National Guard and other troops at the border are limited to providing surveillance and other support roles. He ordered that they not enforce immigration laws or participate in building a new border barrier.
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In released excerpts of his speech, Newsom says he is giving the National Guard a new mission so that troops would not take part in the White House's "political theater" and instead "refocus on the real threats facing our state".
Newsom's reversal of Brown's deployment is no surprise.
When Brown, a fellow Democrat, approved the mission in April, he said no California troops would participate in immigration-related activities.