Gavin Newsom to Scale Down National Guard Presence at Border

Gavin Newsom to Scale Down National Guard Presence at Border

Gavin Newsom to Scale Down National Guard Presence at Border

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today that he plans to withdraw roughly 70 percent of the National Guard troops California has deployed along the U.S. -Mexico border. The governor plans to reassign the soldiers to help with wildfire prevention and combat drug smuggling across the state, according to local reports. The 360 California National Guard troops now stationed on the state's Mexico border will be re-deployed to support wildfire suppression efforts, expand the Counterdrug Task Force, and work on collecting intelligence on drug cartels.

The drawdown of California's troops will begin immediately but may not be completed until March 31, when the state's current agreement with the federal government is set to end. "This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism".

Civil rights leaders and Democrats in California are cheering Newsom's order, which is a turnaround from former Gov.

Maj. Gen. David Baldwin of the California National Guard said the troops have not participated in immigration detention but some are conducting camera surveillance that could inadvertently aid in immigration enforcement. "Period. Full stop", Newsom said. During a recent visit to San Diego, Newsom said "we should be celebrating" migrants who seek asylum legally and contrasted California's efforts to assist them - including a $25 million outlay in his first budget proposal - with what he called Trump's disingenuous narrative "that somehow these caravans are coming in to create havoc".

"Last week, we heard (Trump) stand up at the State of the Union and offer a vision of an America fundamentally at odds with California values", the excerpts read.

When Brown, a fellow Democrat, approved the mission in April, he said no California troops would participate in immigration-related activities.

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California National Guard Major General David Baldwin told reporters Monday that Newsom's order went further than Brown's to make it clear that troops are not to enforce immigration laws.

Aside from state National Guards, the president has ordered thousands of active-duty troops to the border.

Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to help build that wall was central to a 35-day partial US government shutdown that ended last month.

This week, it appears as though the second state, California, will do the same.

Brown said he agreed to the mission after persuading the federal government to commit to paying for it and kept the guard members under the direction of the state.

"It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life".

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