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by | Feb 11, 2019 | Breaking News, Current Events, Government, News, Politics | 0 comments

Gov. Gavin Newsom is rescinding former Gov. Jerry Brown’s deployment of California National Guard troops to the Mexican border, pulling most of the 360 troops off their current missions but leaving some in the area to combat transnational drug smuggling.

“The border ’emergency’ is a manufactured crisis,” Newsom will say during his State of the State address Tuesday morning, according to advance excerpts provided by his office. “And California will not be part of this political theater.”

Earlier this month, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the majority of her state’s National Guard troops at the border to withdraw.

The move comes despite his predecessor’s agreement – along with other past and current border state governors – to send troops to the border at the Trump administration’s request. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown originally approved the mission through the end of March, but qualified that the state’s troops “will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”

Newsom’s order will require around 110 National Guard troops to help the state prepare for its next wildfire season while another 100 members will be deployed to focus specifically on combating transnational crime, according to excerpts from his speech. A spokesman for Newsom said his office will separately request federal funds for the expansion of the state’s counterdrug task force program, The Los Angeles Times reported.

California has repeatedly styled itself as the flagship resistance state to the Trump administration’s policies. Newsom, who is just a month into his governorship, has held up the state as an antidote to what he’s characterized as a corrupt Washington, a message he will likely try to convey in his State of the State speech on Tuesday.

Each of the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia maintain National Guard units. During peacetime, the Guard is under the command of each state governor and adjutant general and typically is called upon to respond to emergencies and natural disasters. In times of war, the president can place the Guard under military command.

The recent National Guard deployment to the Southern border is something of a hybrid. Federal authorities asked governors to provide Guard troops to assist with border security. The federal government is paying the cost of deployment. But the Guard troops remain under the authority of their state governor and adjutant general.

Aside from state National Guards, the president has ordered thousands of active-duty troops to the border. 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. They cannot act as a police force or make arrests. Every president since Ronald Reagan has called on the National Guard for limited, temporary missions along the frontier.

After initially praising Brown for agreeing to his deployment request, President Trump then criticized him for not supporting, in his words, a safe and secure border.

Newsom’s reversal of Brown’s deployment is no surprise. During the gubernatorial campaign, Newsom said he disagreed with Brown’s decision. And on his first full day in office last month, Newsom said he had directed California National Guard Adjutant General David Baldwin to prepare “a menu of options.”

“What’s appropriate, what would be inappropriate, what was our commitment under the executive order Gov. Brown signed, how does remuneration work, what exactly is the work currently being done versus the work that was initiated when the executive order wasn’t in place,” Newsom said that day.

He added: “I can assure you I have not deviated from my previous statements in terms of my desire to move in a different direction.”

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