Governor Lujan Grisham withdraws New Mexico National Guard from border deployment; orders assistance to Hidalgo county
SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday evening ordered the withdrawal of the majority of National Guard troops deployed at the state’s southern border.
The governor directed that troops in Hidalgo County and surrounding southwestern New Mexico counties 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.
Under the governor’s direction, state National Guard leadership will immediately assess whether an augmented presence in the southwestern part of the state is needed.
“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,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
“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.”
Gov. Lujan Grisham, in withdrawing most of New Mexico’s deployed troops, also directed that the troops from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin return to their home states immediately. There were 118 total National Guard troops deployed in New Mexico.
The governor also directed the Department of Public Safety to temporarily deploy an initial group of six New Mexico State Police officers to assist the day-to-day operations of local law enforcement in Hidalgo County, as has been requested by the county manager there. Leadership at the Department of Public Safety will assess whether further supplemental assistance is needed.