New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (shown above right) denounced President Donald Trump late Tuesday evening while removing National Guard troops from the southern border.
Grisham ordered the withdrawal of the majority of her state’s National Guard troops that were deployed at the border.
The move came amid a bitter national fight on border security funding.
Trump has been trying to secure the southern border with a physical barrier but has faced resistance in his fight for federal funding.
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Grisham said in a statement. “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 declared.
Grisham also said she rejects the narrative there is an overwhelming national security crisis at the border.
Trump has repeatedly argued the situation there constitutes a crisis. He’s even entertained the idea of declaring a national emergency if lawmakers fail to come up with an acceptable funding deal to address it.
National Guard leadership was also told to assess immediately whether an augmented presence in the southwestern part of the state is needed.
The governor left troops in place in Hidalgo County and surrounding counties to assist humanitarian efforts there. Grisham also directed that the troops from several other states located in New Mexico return home immediately.
The southern border has seen a surge of migrants over the past year — with many individuals claiming asylum. The migrants have often traveled many hundreds of miles and have come in large caravans. But the increase in migrants has caused tensions along the southern border and a bitter policy dispute among lawmakers.
Trump has reinforced the border to keep the migrants out until their asylum claims can be accessed. He secured the border with additional border patrol personnel and military support.
The issue is many migrants claim asylum after already getting caught in the country illegally.
The illegal immigrants are often released a short time after claiming asylum. They’re then asked to return for a court date to determine their claims — but there is no guarantee they will show up.
Trump is hoping to avoid that problem by deterring them from illegally entering the country in the first place.
He’s faced legal challenges with nearly everything he’s tried to do in securing the border.
Trump and his administration have expressed concern over the nefarious individuals and entities who might be hidden among the caravans. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed on October that some individuals within the caravan are gang members or have significant criminal histories.
Seven unaccompanied minors were also rescued from human smugglers working inside one of the migrant caravans over the fall.
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