'No More Nativism': Newsom Pulls National Guard from Border

California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his decision to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops from the nation's southern border Feb. 11, 2019, in Sacramento. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom today pulled from border duty National Guard troops previously allowed by former Gov. Jerry Brown to assist the White House’s mobilization.

Last week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham withdrew the majority of National Guard troops that had been assigned to help bulk up border security, rejecting “the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border, along which are some of the safest communities in the country.”

“However, I recognize and appreciate the legitimate concerns of residents and officials in southwestern New Mexico, particularly Hidalgo County, who have asked for our assistance, as migrants and asylum-seekers continue to appear at their doorstep,” Lujan Grisham said. “We will support our neighbors where the need for assistance is great, and we will offer a helping hand when we can to those vulnerable people who arrive at our border, but New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops.”

Newsom said today that the 360 National Guard personnel at the California-Mexico border would be redeployed to focus on the “actual threats” facing the state: fire prevention and counternarcotics efforts.

“The border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis. And California will not be part of this political theater. Which is why I have given the National Guard a new mission. They will refocus on the real threats facing our state,” said Newsom. “This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism.”

The drawdown has been ordered to take place by March 31.

Newsom is allowing 100 well-trained Guard personnel to help conduct counternarcotics search-and-seizure operations targeting transnational criminal organizations around ports of entry.