California governor to withdraw National Guard from border

Cheryl Sanders
February 12, 2019

Gavin Newsom is withdrawing several hundred National Guard troops from the nation's southern border and changing their mission.

According to Newsom's office, only 100 of the 360 National Guard troops now stationed at the border will remain there. The Times added, "The governor's office is separately requesting funding from the federal government to add at least 150 troops with the California National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force, according to Nathan Click, a spokesman for the governor". Another 100 members will be devoted to intelligence operations against drug cartels, with a small group of those stationed at points of entry. It follows a similar move last week by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.

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

Under a "general order" that Mr. Newsom plans to sign on Monday, 110 California National Guard troops will be redirected to support the state's central fire agency, Cal Fire, and another 100 will work on statewide "intelligence operations" aimed at worldwide criminal drug gangs. The new governor told the California National Guard Adjutant General David Baldwin to get ready for a "menu of options" upon Newsom's first full day in office.

"Which is why I have given the National Guard a new mission..."

A section of the U.S. -Mexico border fence as seen from Tijuana, Mexico.

With California and New Mexico scaling back their National Guard deployments, 1,725 troops will remain across Texas and Arizona, according to NBC News. Jerry Brown, a Democrat who sought out areas to cooperate with the federal government, set a deadline of March 31 for the deployment to end.

Trump's demand for $5.7 billion United States to help build a wall led to a 35-day partial USA government shutdown that ended last month without the president getting wall funding. 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. Every president since Ronald Reagan has called on the National Guard for limited, temporary missions along the frontier. Camera operators and dispatchers report any illegal border crossing without knowing a person's intent _ or whether they are a criminal or a person in search of a better life, Baldwin said. Grisham publicly rebuked the Trump administration's immigration policies when she announced the withdrawal, something Newsom also appears primed to do.

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