New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered the National Guard troops under her command away from the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that neither she, nor New Mexico, will participate in Trump’s “charade of border fear-mongering.”
As Huffington Post reports, Grisham, a Democrat, has been promising the move for days — making the promise before Tuesday’s State of the Union address and again reiterating it in a Wednesday news conference. She called Trump’s continued insistence that there is an immigration-related national security crisis at the southern border a “charade,” and rejected the notion that the men and women of New Mexico’s National Guard should have any part of it.
“I’m not going to participate, nor do I think it’s appropriate in any shape or fashion to use the National Guard to attempt to militarize the border.”
Grisham did admit that asylum-seekers and other undocumented immigrants coming across the border can — and do — cause problems for the communities that live along it. The communities’ charities and social service apparatuses are overwhelmed by the poverty-stricken refugees who come across the border. And, she says, some unsavory people make it across as well. To that end, she’s sending police officers to Hidalgo County to help out.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., ordered the withdrawal of the majority of National Guard troops deployed at New Mexico's southern border. https://t.co/4CynLI1mnB #USNews #USRC pic.twitter.com/HgxS6zAFJa— U.S. Reality Check???? (@USRealityCheck) February 6, 2019
In April of 2018, as NPR News reported at the time, Trump ordered National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to help stem illegal immigration. However, National Guard troops are under the command of their state governors, not the president, and not all governors along border states were on board. California Governor Jerry Brown, for example, did deploy 400 National Guard troops to locations across the state, as the L.A. Times reported, but none to help with border security. Texas Governor Rick Perry, on the other hand, gladly and enthusiastically sent 1,000 troops to his state’s border, as reported by a different L.A. Times report.
In New Mexico, then-Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican, followed suit and sent troops to the state’s southern border. 118 troops remain, all but a handful of which will be removed in the coming weeks. Those that remain will assist with “humanitarian needs,” says Grisham. The pullout will be in effect not just for New Mexico’s own National Guard troops deployed to the New Mexico-Mexico border, but those from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin who are assisting, according to NPR News.
Trump, meanwhile, continues to insist that the flood of illegal immigrants crossing the border constitutes a national security threat, calling it a “moral issue.”