Gov. Gavin Newsom will order the removal of roughly 360 National Guard members from California’s southern boundary with Mexico.
Newsom called President Trump’s border wishes a “manufactured crisis” and “political theater.”
He’s redirecting troops to wildfire prevention efforts and to counter drug and cartel operations with forces trained in spotting narcotics, stationed at the international ports of entry— where much of the crime has actually been reported by the DEA.
Of the California troops at the border, 110 will be redirected to support the state’s central fire agency, and another 100 will work on addressing international criminal drug gangs.
Additionally, 150 troops are being requested for the Counterdrug Task Force.
Newsom will deliver his first State of the State address on Tuesday, setting the stage for him to counter Trump’s State of the Union address from last week.
“This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism,” the Democratic governor is reportedly set to say in Tuesday’s address.
Last month at his inauguration, he said California would “offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House.”
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the removal of most her state’s troops before Trump’s State of the Union address.
Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) of the border district in San Diego told Vox, “The wall is more of a symbol instead of a structure. It is a symbol of racism. The message is still a racist dog whistle. It’s not a wall.”
Considering negotiations between Trump and Congress broke down Sunday, and a possible government shutdown looming or a national emergency, Trump’s opposition seem to be doubling down on their efforts to counter the racist wall.
“For far too long, the Trump administration has been tearing communities apart with its cruel immigration policies,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said. “A cap on ICE detention beds will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to our country.”
“The Wall will get built, one way or the other!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.