SAN FRANCISCO — A month out from his inauguration, California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom is staking out his own ground when it comes to immigration policy and relations with Mexico, signaling he’s not interested in keeping National Guard troops at the border and that he intends to seek more state resources to address humanitarian concerns.

The approach, which Newsom discussed Friday with POLITICO, could suggest a shift — if not a radical one — from the approach taken by current Gov. Jerry Brown, a fellow Democrat.

“What’s the point of our National Guard being there at this point? I can’t see any,’’ he told POLITICO in a phone interview from Mexico as he prepared to attend the inauguration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. He said he would review current National Guard commitments — those made by Brown under pressure from President Donald Trump. Those commitments are set to extend until March 31. But Newsom said he believed those troops could be far better utilized.

“There’s plenty for them to do on the Camp fire and recovery efforts,’’ as well as “on the humanitarian front’’ where the immediate need for shelter, food and medical care is clearly “not going away anytime soon,’’ he said.

Newsom said he will explore a role for California’s Office of Emergency Services to aid refugees who have already arrived in California and hopes to assist services being offered by nonprofit groups like the Salvation Army.

Newsom directly challenged Trump’s characterization of migrant caravans at the border as a national security emergency and said the president should be “showing up and meeting” refugees to see for himself the immediate scope of a severe humanitarian crisis developing there.

“I don’t care who you are, Republican or Democrat,’’ said Newsom, who said he was shaken by the stories and desperate conditions of very young children and refugees at a border detention center, where he spoke with them directly. “The empathy, on a human level has to be considered here.”

Brown as governor traveled to Mexico with delegations for trips to advance trade and seek out business partners willing to invest there. But earlier this year, he cooperated with Trump’s request for National Guard troops at the border — presumably to secure the border — though he made it clear he would command the Guard and specified they would not be used for immigration enforcement.

Brown, a former state attorney general, wanted tougher law enforcement measures imposed before he signed the landmark “sanctuary state” bill earlier this year. But as Trump began pounding the issue of refugee caravans headed toward the U.S. border, suggesting they presented a serious national security danger, Brown — unlike Newsom — has remained largely silent about the president’s approach and has not gone to visit the border region.

Newsom has suggested he would take a far more interactive approach with the Mexican government and revive commissions and trade offices. And Newsom appears to be culturally more tied to California’s neighbor to the south: His wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, speaks fluent Spanish and speaks the language to their four children at home, believing fluency in the language to be critical in a border state.

Newsom said he wants more details from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has requested the deployment of civilian law enforcement officers from several other Cabinet departments to the U.S.-Mexico border as early as this week, according to an internal memo obtained by POLITICO.

Newsom on Friday in Mexico City held a press conference with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has already signaled he may challenge the Trump administration’s use of tear gas at the border on migrant caravans.

“We agree this is much more than just an economic relationship,’’ said Becerra, noting that California’s historic tie with Mexico “goes beyond neighbors.’’ The top California law enforcement official vowed to work with Mexican law enforcement to tackle issues of concern including criminal gangs and drug and human trafficking.

But Newsom challenged Trump’s threats to close the border at length — purportedly because of security issues related to the caravans — saying it would have potentially catastrophic economic effects on California and the nation as a whole.

“We can’t afford it,’’ he said, noting that California-Mexico trade now tops half a trillion dollars and involves an estimated 350 million border crossings annually. “America can’t afford it,’’ he said of Trump’s threats, adding he would encourage Trump “to consider not just the issue from a purely border protection security perspective,’’ but also from the “economic security perspective” of both California and the nation.

After his inauguration on Jan. 7, Newsom said, he plans to oversee the revitalization of a California-Mexico trade office and wants to renew a lapsed commission of border governors from California, Baja Mexico North and South to regularly meet and address regional problems.

He also said his visit to Mexico has convinced him that the coming state budget — the first draft of which is expected in mid-December — must include resources he said are clearly critically needed to address some of the health and welfare needs that are being ignored on the border at the federal level.

Specifically, Newsom called on state, local and regional officials to immediately address the plight of migrants, some of who are awaiting asylum claims, and whom he said he learned are being dropped off by ICE in San Diego without shelter, food or medical treatment. The situation, he said, has left many vulnerable to human trafficking, crime and health issues that could impact California communities.

Newsom said he intends to address the issue with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other officials including the elected leaders of Imperial County, which is currently the center of the migrant crisis.

He said he was also deeply concerned to see hoards of desperate migrants at the border have no legal representation as they seek asylum, many from dangerous situations in Central America. They need “the benefit of some legal aide.“

But he said it would help enormously if Trump would come to the border and see the situation with his own eyes. “You can’t understand it until you experience it,’’ Newsom said. “And if you experience it, I assure you, your rhetoric will change.”