The Latest: Governor to keep some troops at Mexico border
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California’s withdrawal of National Guard troops from the border (all times local):
California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he had wanted to withdraw all of the state’s National Guard troops from the Mexico border but will keep some in place after consulting with guard officials.
Newsom said Monday he is seeking the withdrawal because California troops have been operating cameras and doing other surveillance work that can inadvertently aid in immigration enforcement.
Former Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to deploy troops last year at the request of the Trump administration. Brown said the troops couldn’t engage in immigration activities.
Newsom wants to rewrite the state’s agreement with the federal government to deploy 100 troops instead of the roughly 360 that are there.
He says Guard officials convinced him there is good work being done to combat drug trafficking.
The governor wants to reassign 250 troops to other drug-related activities as well as wildfire prevention.
The Trump administration hasn’t commented.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is withdrawing several hundred National Guard troops from the nation’s southern border and changing their mission.
The Democrat plans to rescind on Monday an earlier authorization for the troops to aid the Trump administration. That agreement was made by former California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Newsom will allow roughly 100 troops to continue working with the federal government specifically focused on combating transnational drug and gun smuggling.
Newsom’s decision follows a move by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to withdraw that state’s troops from the border mission.
Newsom’s office says California has about 360 National Guard soldiers deployed on the U.S. Mexico border.
Newsom spokesman Nathan Click says 110 troops will be redeployed to wildfire preparation and 150 will work on the state’s counterdrug task force program. That change requires approval from the U.S. Department of Defense.