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California governor to draw down guard troops at border

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Gov. Gavin Newsom is expanding the size and role of the California governor's office

Gavin Newsom ordered the withdrawal of most of the National Guard troops now deployed at the state's southern border in a public rebuke to President Donald Trump.

Prior to Newsom's inauguration as governor, former Gov.

Gavin Newsom is preparing to deliver his first State of the State address a day after declaring he wouldn't participate in the Trump administration's "political theater" over border security.

He plans to offer a similar explanation during his State of the State address on Tuesday, when he will reject participating in what he calls "political theater" that "has been thrust on us by Washington".

Newsom's move comes on the heels of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat, pulling back her state's troops from the U.S. -Mexico border.

Last April, the Trump administration approached southern border states and requested their approval for deploying troops to the border. Grisham publicly rebuked the Trump administration's immigration policies when she announced the withdrawal, something Newsom also appears primed to do. The troops can not act to enforce the law or to make arrests.

"The 360 National Guard troops in California will be redeployed to fight wildfires, expand the state's Drug Task Force and collect intelligence on drug cartels, Newsom will announce", write NBC News. The last federal stoppage lasted for 35 days.

Instead of dedicating their time to border security, the governor plans to sign a general order to have troops redeployed to provide support on two initiatives: wildfire prevention efforts and operations to counter drugs and cartels in California, including surveillance at worldwide points of entry.

Newsom's decision to rollback Brown's troop deployment at the border does not come as a surprise.

"I'm trying to acknowledge there are some legitimate concerns but I'm not going to play into the hype and the politics", he told reporters before signing an executive order changing the troops' mission. Newsom - who has quickly positioned himself as the progressive adversary to Trump - argues that there is no "crisis" at the southern border, and wants to use National Guard troops for other missions.

According to the Associated Press, only about 100 troops will remain at the border.

U.S. Border agents and the Coast Guard patrol the Pacific Ocean where the U.S. Mexico border wall enters the water at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California on November 20, 2018. "It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life".

If that's an implicit slam on Trump's demand for more border-enforcement resources, Newsom plans to get explicit about it soon enough.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to deploy troops a year ago at the request of the Trump administration.

Newsom's reversal of Brown's deployment is no surprise.

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