Gov. Newsom to pull National Guard from border

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What Trump seems to have forgotten, however, is that individual states along the border have the right to pull troops if they so desire. He made clear his intention to challenge Trump on border and immigration policy, and there is no indication that this will be anything but wildly popular in California.

The expansion of the counterdrug task force requires approval from the US Department of Defense.

Newsom, who is just a month into his governorship, has held up the state as an antidote to what he's characterized as a corrupt Washington. The efforts to counter the Trump Administration's immigration enforcement increased last summer after outcry over the separating of families at the border. The troops have remained at the border for 10 months.

Newsom's decision follows a move by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to withdraw that state's troops from the border mission.

Newsom, 51, has sparred repeatedly with Trump and excerpts of his speech indicate he'll rebut pieces of the State of the Union address delivered by Trump.

"The crisis on the border is a manufactured crisis and we are not interested in participating in this political theater", Newsom said in a press conference in Sacramento. "This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism".

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At the federal level, the ongoing battle over funding for Trump's proposed border wall could lead to another partial government shutdown.

Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to help build that wall was central to a 35-day partial USA government shutdown that ended last month. Jerry Brown had yielded to Trump's request to send 400 National Guard troops to the border. "Which is why I have given the National Guard a new mission".

Newsom's actions are a fresh, if symbolic, affront to President Donald Trump's claim of an immigration crisis on the nation's southern border. Another 100 will be redirected to help with wildfire prevention and preparation efforts. They will focus on transnational crime such as drug and gun smuggling.

Trump later dispatched more than 5,200 active-duty military troops to the border in October before the 2018 midterm election as a caravan of migrants arrived in the USA from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The drawdown of California's troops will begin immediately but may not be completed until March 31, when the state's current agreement with the federal government is set to end. Under Newsom's directive, he said, Guard members would stay away from those areas and not participate in border surveillance.

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