California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would pull hundreds of National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border as he vowed that his state will not be part of President Donald Trump’s “political theater.”
According to CBS News, the Democratic governor plans to keep about 100 of the 360 troops currently deployed at the border, but not for immigration purposes. They will focus on transnational crime such as drug and gun smuggling.
“The border ’emergency’ is a manufactured crisis, and California will not be part of this political theater,” Newsom is expected to say at his State of the State address Tuesday.
Newsom joins fellow Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico in the decision. Grisham also pulled back state troopers from the border, meaning half of the border states have now defied Trump’s demands.
Both Newsom and Grishman are new governors this year whose predecessors approved Trump’s plan to have troops at the border. But both governors are outspoken Trump opponents.
Last week during the State if the Union, Grishman shared a video of her literally tearing through walls in a jab to Trump’s southern border wall plans.
Watch the video below:
— MichelleLujanGrisham (@Michelle4NM) February 6, 2019
Newsom said he will redistribute the troops where California needs them more. The state is coming off one of their worst fire seasons ever that included the Camp Fire, which was the deadliest fire in the state’s history. Newsom is redirecting over 100 troops that are currently at the border to contribute to California’s fire preparation efforts.
Notably, Newsom and Trump have clashed on the issue of how to best handle fire preparation and management with the president even threatening to cut aid to the fire-devastated communities in January.