Combatting Trump, Two States Pull National Guard Troops From the Border

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As Donald Trump prepared to speak at the US-Mexico border in another effort to convince voters of the need for a wall to curtail illegal immigration, California's governor, Gavin Newsom, defended his decision to withdraw national guard troops from the border.

According to excerpts of a speech released by his office, Newsom is expected to say: "The border "emergency" is a manufactured crisis, and California will not be part of this political theater". It follows a similar move last week by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.

In his State of the State address on Tuesday, the newly elected Democratic governor will say that border crossings had fallen to their lowest since 1971 and California's undocumented population had dropped to a more than 10-year low, spokesperson Brian Ferguson said. The troops can not act to enforce the law or to make arrests.

Then-California Senate leader Kevin De Leon and 26 state legislators urged Brown to end the National Guard agreement.

Trump's demand for $5.7 billion USA to help build a wall led to a 35-day partial USA government shutdown that ended last month without the president getting wall funding.

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The Pentagon announced plans last week to send 3,750 troops to the border to install concertina wire and help Customs and Border Protection agents. The federal government that month also stopped helping asylum-seeking families connect with their USA sponsors after being processed and registered at the border.

Grisham, a Democrat, called Trump's frequent declarations of an immigration crisis at the border a "charade".

The announcement comes the day before the California governor's State of the State address, set for this Tuesday, February 12. Another 110 will be assigned to wildfire preparation duty. Another 100 members will be devoted to intelligence operations against drug cartels, with a small group of those stationed at points of entry.

But the National Guard has been aiding federal efforts along the border by handling duties that otherwise would have had to be performed by USA troops and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, including vehicle maintenance, administrative support and operating cameras on the border. The governor's office is separately requesting funding from the federal government to add at least 150 troops to the California National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force, according to Nathan Click, a spokesman for the governor. "A quarter of a century later, we're more united than ever, and we're not going back".

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