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California Joins New Mexico in Withdrawing National Guard From Border

Gavin Newsom during his time as San Francisco mayor in 2008. (photo via Gavin Newsom)
Gavin Newsom during his time as San Francisco mayor in 2008. (photo via Gavin Newsom)

New Mexico and now California have now both recalled National Guard troops from the border wall.

Only a month into his term, California Governor Gavin Gavin Newsom has stood up to Trump by ordering 260 of the 360 National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to leave immediately. Newsom said the move was necessary as the threat of illegal immigrants overwhelming the border was nonexistent and the troops were needed elsewhere.

Newsome Calls Border Wall ‘Manufactured Crisis’

Newsom told news reporters in Sacramento that everything about the alleged border crisis reeked of political gimmicks. He said the state would not be drawn into political situations created to suit the Trump administration agenda. “This whole border issue is a manufactured crisis,” Newsom said. “We are not interested in participating in this political theater.”

Newsom told reporters that immigration crossings are currently at their lowest since 1971 and that the number of undocumented people in California remained at an over 10-year low.

Withdrawing the National Guard from the U.S.-Mexico border is a direct challenge to President Trump who called for troops at the border and increased border security. The president vowed during his presidential campaign to construct a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border and said the Mexican government would pay for the wall. Trump is now asking the U.S. government to pay for the wall.

Before the mid-term elections, the President requested states to send troops to the border although they are not allowed to deal directly with the undocumented people requesting asylum. During peacetime, the National Guard is under the jurisdiction of state governments.

Border Wall Funding Forces Shutdown

President Trump shut down the government in December when Congress turned down his request for $5.7 billion in funds for a border wall. The shutdown was lifted in January after a 35-day hiatus when a temporary budget was reached so that the government can remain open while legislators work on a long-term budget.

On Monday night both the Republican and Democratic party announced they had reached a deal on the federal budget, but though the details are not yet publicized, the deal is believed to not contain Trump’s $5.7 billion border wall funding.

With two-thirds of the National Guard troops withdrawn, Newsom said the remaining 100 may join a task-force set up to combat drug trafficking and cartels.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown sent the National Guard to the Mexico border in April when the Trump administration assured him they would be focused on combating smugglers and criminal activity and not on enforcing immigration laws.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan recently withdrew most of her state’s National Guard troops posted to the border.

Gov. Newsom said his decision to withdraw the troops is connected with the need to combat the proliferation of unauthorized cannabis farms in California. He said there is a need to prosecute those running illegal cannabis businesses in the state, adding the extent of illegal grows is enlarging by the day.

With two-thirds of the National Guard troops withdrawn, Newsom said the remaining 100 may join a task-force set up to combat drug trafficking and cartels.

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