New Mexico Governor to Remove National Guard from Border

Members of the U.S. military install multiple tiers of concertina wire along the banks of the Rio Grande near the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge at the U.S.-Mexico border, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Laredo, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP File Photo/Eric Gay

Despite pleas from New Mexico ranchers saying they are overrun by Central American migrants, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the removal of most of her state’s National Guard troops from border security assistance missions.

Governor Lujan Grisham ordered the withdrawal of most of her state’s 118 National Guardsmen who were deployed as part of Operation Guardian Support, KOB4 reported Tuesday night.

“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,” the governor said.

Instead of providing additional support to ranchers in the New Mexico Bootheel region, the governor said that some troops could remain in Hidalgo County to “assist with the ongoing humanitarian needs,” the local news outlet reported.

Breitbart News reached out to Hidalgo County Manager Tisha Green for a reaction to the governor’s decision. An immediate response was not available. The county’s chief executive previously stated in a letter to the governor and the state’s two senators, “We feel there is an imminent threat to the safety and welfare of our citizens in Hidalgo County. Resources such as medical, law enforcement and sanitation are amongst those most needed.”

She went on to tell KOB4, “The calls I get from citizens, they state there are people in their backyards, they are seeing several on a daily basis, and people are breaking into their homes, stealing different items.  They feel like they are not safe, not protected.”

A rancher in the region reported that migrants kidnapped one of her hands, while others reported armed trespassers.

“We have to get the word out that we have a crisis down here,” rancher Tricia Elrock told reporters from KOB 4 Investigates when they visited the border county of Hidalgo, New Mexico. “The worst part of it, we had an employee kidnapped. And that was probably the worst night of my entire life until we got him back.”

Rancher Randy Massey told the reporters, “We’ve had vehicles stolen.”

“It’s getting to the point where these confrontations are getting more aggressive and more and more violent,” rancher Kris Massey added regarding the current border crisis.

Hildalgo County Sheriff Warren Walter also pleaded for help. “The citizens aren’t protected,” he said. “We need to have more manpower.”

Like many border sheriffs, Walter is understaffed to deal with this type of unprecedented migration of Central American families and minors.

“With my four officers – days off, vacation time, sick leave — we can’t cover 24 hours a day,” the sheriff explained.  “We are basically 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at night.  That’s the best I can do. In my honest opinion, that’s not fair to the citizens of the county.”

Nearly one year ago, then-Governor Susana Martinez announced the deployment of 250 national guardsmen to the border region as part of the presidents call for action.

The move by Governor Lujan Grisham comes as President Donald Trump ordered 3,750 additional military forces to the southwestern border, Breitbart News reported.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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