In stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s insistence that members of the military are needed at the U.S.-Mexico border, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) ordered most of the National Guardsmen to withdraw.
In a statement released just before Trump gave his State of the Union speech, Grisham said she does not believe there is a national emergency at the border.
“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. However, I recognize and appreciate the legitimate concerns of residents and officials in southwestern New Mexico, particularly Hidalgo County, who have asked for our assistance, as migrants and asylum-seekers continue to appear at their doorstep,” she said.
The AP reports around a dozen National Guardsmen will stay in the southwestern corner of the state to help with humanitarian needs.
Lujan Grisham has directed “six New Mexico State Police officers to assist the day-to-day operations of local law enforcement” in a county along the southern border:
“We will support our neighbors where the need for assistance is great, and we will offer a helping hand when we can to those vulnerable people who arrive at our border, but New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops. We will deploy our men and women in uniform only where there is a need, and where their presence can make a genuine difference in ensuring public safety and an easing of the humanitarian concerns at our southern border.”
She also instructed National Guardsmen from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin to also return home. A total of 118 National Guardsmen were deployed in the state.
In a video posted to Twitter, Lujan Grisham can be seen going through walls on various topics before going through a last wall to represent Trump’s campaign promise.
“Make no mistake – I’m committed to continuing to address both border security and humanitarian needs,” she also tweeted.
The Pentagon said more active-duty troops will be deploying on the border at the request of the Department of Homeland Security. In a statement on Wednesday, Capt. Bill Speaks said they are repositioning service members from Arizona to Texas in response to a caravan approaching that sector.