New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) withdrew the state’s National Guard troops from the Southern border, and issued a scathing statement against President Trump.
In a public statement issued with her announcement that she would be withdrawing the 80 troops that former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) sent in April of last year, Gov. Lujan Grisham took particular offense at President Trump’s insistence that there was a national security crisis at the U.S./Mexico border.
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Lujan Grisham said in a Wednesday press conference. “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.”
Along with pulling her own state’s troops, the New Mexico governor also ordered all troops from other states deployed in New Mexico — including troops from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin — to leave the state and return home. The only troops that will remain are 15 guardsmen in the Southwestern corner of the state who are assisting with humanitarian needs.
While Lujan Grisham is a Democrat, at least one Republican governor has also decided to not participate in Trump’s demand for troops on the border. In June of 2018, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker (R) withdrew his offer to send a UH-72 Lakota helicopter and two military analysts to the Southern border, citing the Trump administration’s former policy of separating undocumented children from their parents at the border.
Jim Darling, the mayor McAllen, Texas, which sits on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, has repeatedly said there’s no national security issue on the border despite Trump’s repeated declarations that the border is unsafe. While his office is non-partisan, Darling did endorse the campaign of Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott in 2014. In a 2018 video for NowThis, Darling called McAllen “the safest city in Texas.”
“The crisis, to me, is in Central America,” Darling said. “Even being separated from your mom for a week — and I hope it’s not longer than that — and sleeping on a mat, that’s really traumatic, especially for a younger kid.”
“The trauma that’s going on in Central America, that’s making a woman take her three-year-old kid across Mexico, and it’s not an easy journey, and giving up everything to get away from what they’re getting away from, that’s really tragic,” he continued. “The United States can certainly do better, but the real tragedy, to me, is happening there.”
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.