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NM governor withdraws most National Guard troops from border
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Tuesday ordered the withdrawal of most New Mexico National Guard troops assigned to the state's southern border.
Lujan Grisham said some troops would remain in the southwest part of the state to provide humanitarian aid assistance for migrants and asylum-seekers who have arrived in recent weeks.
"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," said Lujan Grisham in a statement Tuesday. "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."
In addition to withdrawing the majority of troops, the governor asked Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wisconsin to pull out their troops who were ordered to the border by President Trump in October.
A total of 118 troops were deployed, mostly in a support role to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Lujan Grisham made the announcement just a few hours before Trump is slated to deliver his State of the Union address, when border security is expected to come up.
"Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is strategic. It wouldn't surprise me that she timed this release to send a direct message to the president," a senior Democratic aide told The Hill.
Lujan Grisham's office said state National Guard leadership would assess whether the military presence is needed in southwestern New Mexico, particularly Hidalgo County.