New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham successfully flipped the governor’s mansion from red to blue in November, and now she’s standing up to President Donald Trump at the state’s southern border.
After ordering National Guard troops to withdraw from the border in New Mexico on Tuesday, Lujan Grisham explained her reasoning at a press conference on Wednesday.
Lujan Grisham argued that it would be inappropriate to use her state’s Guard troops to “militarize the border” while the constitutional rights of asylum seekers are being breached, CNN reported.
In a Tuesday statement, Lujan Grisham disagreed with the federal government’s dire assessment of the situation on the southern border but maintained that her state will offer assistance for residents as needed to address concerns stemming from the influx of migrants and asylum seekers.
The governor made clear her state would not “take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering” in justifying her decision to withdraw the Guard:
“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.”
Trump’s vow to construct a wall on the southern border played a role in Lujan Grisham’s successful campaign for governor. In one campaign ad, Lujan Grisham literally runs through a wall as a stand-in for the president’s proposal:
— MichelleLujanGrisham (@Michelle4NM) February 6, 2019
New Mexico’s land border with Mexico is roughly 180 miles long. The Trump administration has moved to replace some of the short vehicle barriers that currently line most of the state’s border with more substantial bollard walls.