February 12, 2019
On Monday, a second Governor announced the withdrawal of National Guard troops from his state’s border with Mexico.
In defiance to requests from the Trump administration to support the country’s southern border with troops, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would withdraw nearly 400 of the deployed National Guard troops and reassign them to other duties.
The announcement came shortly after New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made the same statement last week.
The newly elected Governor Newsom plans to sign a “general order” which will allow him to redirect 110 California National Guard troops to support Cal Fire, the state’s central fire agency in preparation for fire season.
Another 100 troops will be sent statewide to aid in operations dealing with international criminal drug gangs. To expand Calfornia’s Counterdrug Task Force, Gov. Newsom requires an additional 150 National Guard troops, which will require funding from the Department of Defense.
Gov. Newsom is expected to elaborate more on his decision and future plans during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. The announcement by New Mexico Governor Grisham to partially withdraw troops came shortly before President Trump delivered his State of the Union address. Gov. Grisham said in a statement:
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops.”
Monday’s speech by Gov. Newsom sounded similar when he said:
“I think this whole border issue is manufactured. The crisis on the border is a manufactured crisis, and we are not interested in participating in this political theatre.”
The decisions made by these two newly appointed governors to pull troops from their border with Mexico stand in stark contrast to the policies of previous governors in their states.
But just as these governors took a stand, Donald Trump announced more US troops to be sent to the border to contain what Trump referred to as a major national security threat.
The Pentagon made a formal announcement over the weekend that stated an additional 3,745 troops to be sent to the southern US-Mexico border.
They will reportedly install barbed wire fencing, but will also assist US Customs and Border Protection operations. The order will push the number of troops along the border to 4,350.
Governor Newsom got inaugurated on January 7, 2019, ousting Governor Jerry Brown to become the 40th Governor of California. Former actress Jennifer Siebel and wife of the newly appointed Governor Newsom proudly introduced her husband as the next governor at the ceremony. Later on, she also posted a message of appreciation towards her husband on Twitter:
Now Jennifer is consequently also the “First Lady” of the state which put her in a rather powerful position. However, Jennifer spoke of her dislike of the term “First Lady” and her preference in being referred to as “First Partner.”
To Jennifer, the term “First Partner” is a more inclusive term as she has a disposition towards gender equality.