The governor of New Mexico ordered the withdrawal of the majority of the state's National Guard troops from the US border with Mexico on Tuesday, in a move that challenges President Trump's description of a security crisis. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the partial withdrawal shortly before Trump's State of the Union address. Her Republican predecessor deployed National Guard troops to the border in April 2018 at Trump's suggestion, and 118 remained there before Tuesday's reversal, reports the AP. "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 statement.
"I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border," the Democrat added, per NPR, saying the region is home to "some of the safest communities in the country." She also directed 25 troops from other states—Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin—to withdraw from the New Mexico border. At the same time, the governor said a small contingent—around a dozen guardsmen—will remain in the southwestern corner of the state to assist with humanitarian needs in a remote corridor for cross-border immigration. (The Pentagon announced Sunday it would send more troops to the border.)