The governor of New Mexico ordered the withdrawal of the majority of the state's National Guard troops from the U.S. 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.
"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 may have mentioned this before, P*D, but it's always been interesting to me how different NM is from AZ, politically and otherwise. There's a great book, "A Land Apart," by Flannery Burke. She does a fantastic job of outlining the history of the southwest, particularly AZ and NM, and talks quite a bit about why the two states are so politically different. You might enjoy it.
Posts: 32157 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005
New Mexico didn't have the same snowbird migration, for one. AZ has 7.2 million people. NM only has 2.1 million. NM is more heavily "native," meaning old hispanic and native American. And many of the recent Anglo immigrants are highly educated and leftish.
I'll be curious to see how high "my" representative (Ben Luhan) rises in the new House. He could be an important player.
Posts: 8050 | Location: Williamsburg, VA | Registered: 19 July 2005
Guess they're more worried about razor wire than the invading hordes.
When Sherrie Nixon saw the six strands of razor wire strung along the U.S.-Mexico border fence in her Arizona city, she said she wanted to cry.
“They’re turning our town into a military base. It’s like the front lines of some kind of war zone,” Nixon, 68, told the Nogales City Council on Wednesday night. “Please take a stand and at least have them get rid of the razor wire. It’s a public nuisance, it’s lethal.”
Minutes later, the council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the use of the concertina wire as an indiscriminate use of lethal force normally reserved for battlefields and high-security prisons.
The council called on the federal government to remove the wire and not use military force or military-type tactics in their city. Nogales, a city of more than 20,000 residents, borders on the Mexican city of the same name.
“We’re not going to allow this in Nogales,” Mayor Arturo Garino, a Democrat, said at the meeting, which was recorded and streamed on the internet. “We have children who live right next to it, 10 feet away from it.”
Garino said his city was very safe, and he did not want the eyesore and safety hazard of the wire to ruin the community’s healthy economy. He planned to file a lawsuit over it.
The razor wire was installed by some of the more than 6,500 active-duty and National Guard troops deployed to the southern border.
President Donald Trump has said troops are needed because the border is in a “lawless state” and faces the “tremendous onslaught” of Central American migrant caravans.
US troops have hung new coils of razor-sharp concertina wire on the American side of an existing border fence in downtown Nogales, Arizona, covering the steel-slatted barrier in some places from top to bottom.
As many as four rows of razor wire were added to the existing two rows of wire troops previously attached to the 25-foot fence in November. About 2,350 active-duty troops were deployed to the southern border by Donald Trump address what he calls a national-security crisis. (The Pentagon disagrees.)
“That wire is lethal, and I really don’t know what they’re thinking by putting it all the way down to the ground,” Nogales mayor Arturo Garino, a Vietnam vet and former law enforcement officer, told the Nogales International newspaper.
Troops have installed 70 miles of razor wire along the border since then, according to the Department of Defense. Another 150 miles is scheduled to be put up by March 31 and troops will stay at the border through September, officials told the House Armed Services Committee. More than $2 million worth of concertina wire purchases by the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) made between last November and December are listed in a public government spending database; the overall border operation has so far cost approximately $240 million.
A solicitation recently issued by DLA seeks a vendor capable of supplying 126,000 50-foot rolls of “barbed tape concertina wire” a year for the next five years, at an estimated cost of $26 million. That comes to 6.3 million feet of wire, or 1,193 miles, annually.
Concertina wire installed in November along border fencing in Laredo, Texas was removed three weeks later following criticism from local lawmakers. In Hidalgo, Texas, the same type of wire was also installed but later removed.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom will announce plans Monday to pull back all members of the National Guard who have been deployed to the border with Mexico, saying the state would not be part of the Trump administration's "manufactured crisis."
The 360 National Guard troops in California will be redeployed to fight wildfires, expand the state's Drug Task Force and collect intelligence on drug cartels, Newsom will announce.
Look out! They're gonna be pouring over the border in droves!
Gov. Tony Evers recalled Wisconsin's National Guard troops from the southern border, making him the third state leader to challenge the Trump administration's claims of a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico line.
"There is simply not ample evidence to support the president's contention of a national security crisis at our southwestern border," Evers, a Democrat, wrote in a tweet on Monday afternoon.
"Therefore, there is no justification for the ongoing presence of Wisconsin National Guard personnel at the border," the newly sworn-in governor added.
A statement about the executive order, signed Monday, offers a bit more detail: 112 Guard Soldiers and Airmen, under the command of then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, were deployed to the Arizona border on June 21, 2018, to assist with border security.