SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As a second partial government shutdown looms in Washington over border discussions, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday will order the removal of roughly 360 National Guard members from California's southern boundary with Mexico, repudiating President Donald Trump's characterization of a recent influx of Central American refugees and migrants as a national security crisis.
The announcement comes just one day before the governor delivers his first State of the State address Tuesday, setting the stage for Newsom to counter Trump's State of the Union address from last week.
In released excerpts of his speech, Newsom says he is giving the National Guard a new mission so that troops would not take part in the White House's "political theater" and instead "refocus on the real threats facing our state." The governor said he would sign a general order to redeploy the troops to support wildfire prevention efforts and expand operations to counter drugs and cartels across California, with a group of forces trained in spotting narcotics to be stationed at the state's international points of entry.
"The Border 'emergency' is a manufactured crisis," Newsom is expected to say Tuesday, according to prepared remarks provided by the governor's office. "This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism."
Newsom's move is an escalation of a long-running battle over immigration between California and the federal government, with the state's Democratic majorities pledging to serve as a buffer to Trump's hard-line rhetoric and policies.
The president has threatened to invoke emergency powers to fund construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, a key promise of his 2016 campaign. A budget standoff between Trump and congressional Democrats over the proposal led to a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history. Parts of the government could close again if Congress and the White House do not reach a spending deal by Friday.
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In his address to the nation last week, Trump showed little willingness to compromise, doubling down on calls for a wall and describing illegal immigration as a source of crime and a costly burden on taxpayers.
"Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate -- it is cruel," he said.
Newsom is the second governor this month to pull National Guard troops assigned to the southern border.
Last week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the removal of most her state's troops just hours before the president's address, saying she rejected "the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border."