Another state refuses to let Trump use troops for 'political theater'


Gavin Newsom is the second governor to pull National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump's border emergency is a "manufactured crisis" according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who will pull hundreds of National Guard troops away from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Newsom is the second governor in a week to rebuke Trump and refuse to allow National Guard troops to be used as political props.

Newsom plans to pull an estimated 360 troops from the border in order to focus on issues important to the state. Around 110 troops will be sent to support the state's wildfire fighting agency, Cal Fire, and another 100 will help with intelligence operations related to international drug gangs.

The announcement will come a day before Newsom delivers his State of the State address. In prepared remarks released to the media, Newsom will use the address to slam Trump for his divisive language around immigrants. "This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism," Newsom will say.

Trump's border "crisis" nonsense began as a political stunt in the months leading up to the 2018 election. As the Republican economic message fell flat with voters, Trump sought to use anti-immigrant racist rhetoric to drive Republican voters to the polls. As part of this effort, Trump started talking about a "crisis" at the border, where he sent thousands of military troops.

However, since there was no crisis, the troops spent their time shoveling horse manure and performing other menial tasks. Trump refuses to abandon his political games, and a recent analysis showed a continued troop presence at the southern border will cost $1 billion this year.

Newsom joins New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who last week said she was pulling National Guard troops from the border. She lambasted the White House over the "charade of border fear-mongering." In a statement, Lujan Grisham wholeheartedly rejected the assertion by Trump that there is any kind of crisis at the border. Rather than assist Trump's misguided efforts, Lujan Grisham will use her state's resources to deal with humanitarian issues and focus on asylum seekers coming in to the state.

"California will not be part of this political theater," Newsom will say Tuesday night. He joins a growing list of Democratic governors who reject Trump's efforts to divide, rather than unite, the country.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.