New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), rejecting President Donald Trump’s claims of an immigration crisis, said she would withdraw most National Guard troops deployed at her state’s southern border.
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering,” Lujan Grisham declared Tuesday shortly before Trump’s State of the Union address, adding that she rejects the “federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis” at the border.
She elaborated during a news conference on Wednesday. “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 where we’re dealing with asylum seekers who their constitutional rights continue to be breached,” Lujan Grisham said, according to CNN.
A majority of the 118 National Guard personnel stationed at New Mexico’s southern border will be withdrawn in the coming weeks, KOAT-TV reported. Only a small number of troops will remain in southwestern New Mexico to help with humanitarian needs, Lujan Grisham said.
“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,” the governor said in a statement. She added that the state police would send six officers to Hidalgo County to support local law enforcement.
Lujan Grisham’s Republican predecessor, Susana Martinez, ordered National Guard troops to the border in April following a proclamation signed by Trump deploying the National Guard to the southern border.
More than 2,000 National Guard troops are currently stationed at the border. About 2,300 active-duty troops have also been deployed there.
Trump said during his Tuesday State of the Union address that he’s ordered the deployment of an additional 3,750 active-duty troops to the border to prepare for a “tremendous onslaught” of undocumented immigrants.
Trump’s deployment of military forces to the border could cost taxpayers an estimated $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
As Lujan Grisham’s decision to withdraw National Guard troops made headlines, the governor shared a campaign video showing her literally careening through walls and criticizing Trump’s promise to build a massive wall at the border.
“Here’s what I think of Trump’s wall,” Lujan Grisham shouts in the viral clip as she breaks into a run and smashes through a wall bearing a photograph of the president.