California Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday will pull about 360 National Guard troops from the state's southern border, planning to announce in a speech that he wants the troops to focus on the "real threats facing our state" and not President Donald Trump's "political theater."
In released excerpts from his speech, planned one day before his first State of the State address on Tuesday, the Democratic governor says he plans to sign a general order redeploying troops to support the state's wildfire prevention efforts and fight against drug trafficking, reports The Los Angeles Times.
The general order assigns 110 troops for wildfire prevention and another 100 to be used in intelligence operations against drug cartels, including a small group at the state's ports of entry.
Newsom also will seek federal funding for another 150 troops for the California National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force. According to the governor's office, the troops will be pulled back by March 31.
“The Border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis,” Newsom's speech says. "This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia, or nativism."
Newsom will be the second governor this month to pull back National Guard troops, after New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last week pulled back most of her state's troops hours before President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.
Civil rights leaders and Democrats in California are cheering Newsom's order, which is a turnaround from former Gov. Jerry Brown, who in April approved Trump's request to send 400 National Guard troops to the state border.