Gov. Gavin Newsom recently ordered the removal of roughly 360 National Guard members from California’s southern boundary with Mexico, repudiating President Trump’s characterization of a recent influx of Central American refugees and migrants as a national security crisis.
The announcement comes just one day before the governor delivers his first State of the State address Tuesday, setting the stage for Newsom to counter Trump’s State of the Union address from last week.
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.” The governor said he would sign a general order to redeploy the troops to support wildfire prevention efforts and expand operations to counter drugs and cartels across California, with a group of forces trained in spotting narcotics to be stationed at the state’s international points of entry.
“The Border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis,” Newsom is expected to say Tuesday, according to prepared remarks provided by the governor’s office. “This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism.”