Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico ordered the state’s National Guard to withdraw the majority of its troops stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday night, rejecting the Trump administration’s claims of an “overwhelming national security crisis,” reports NBC News.
Lujan Grisham announced the decision in the lead-up to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in which he warned of a “tremendous onslaught” of asylum seekers arriving at the southern border and once again vowed to build his long-promised border wall.
The governor rejected 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.”
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” she said.
The governor said that troops stationed in Hidalgo County and surrounding southwestern New Mexico counties would remain in place to “assist with the ongoing humanitarian needs of communities there, who have seen large groups of families, women and children crossing over the border in the remote Antelope Wells area in recent months.”
However, Lujan Grisham did “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.”
“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,” the New Mexico governor said.