Newsom's removal of the National Guard members from the border follows New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's order to remove her state's troops just before President Trump's State of the Union address last week.
Newsom will reassign roughly 110 troops to beef up California's fire preparation efforts ahead of the next wildfire season and expand the guard's counterdrug task force program. Another 100 members will be devoted to intelligence operations against drug cartels, with a small group of those stationed at points of entry.
The move comes despite his predecessor's agreement - along with other past and current border state governors - to send troops to the border at the Trump administration's request. The new governor told the California National Guard Adjutant General David Baldwin to get ready for a "menu of options" upon Newsom's first full day in office.
I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border, along which are some of the safest communities in the country.
In released excerpts of his planned speech, the California governor says that his state refuses to participate in the White House's "political theater" and will instead "refocus on the real threats facing our state", according to the Times. The efforts to counter the Trump Administration's immigration enforcement increased last summer after outcry over the separating of families at the border.
Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to help build that wall was central to a 35-day partial US government shutdown that ended last month.
The California governor plans to split his state's National Guard troops on the border into three new deployments. "It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life". They can not act as a police force or make arrests. The troops can not act to enforce the law or to make arrests. Every president since Ronald Reagan has called on the National Guard for limited, temporary missions along the frontier. But both governors are outspoken Trump opponents.
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 Border "emergency" is a manufactured crisis," Newsom is reportedly set to say on Tuesday.