NM to withdraw National Guard from border
BY ANGELA KOCHERGA / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER - LAS CRUCES BUREAU
Published: Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 at 6:36pm
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered the withdrawal of most of the 118 National Guard troops deployed on the state’s border, but is leaving a small group in the Hidalgo County area.
“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,” Lujan Grisham said in a news release Tuesday evening.
“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,” she said.
New Mexico’s Bootheel has become a busy spot with large groups of Central Americans crossing the border asking for asylum. According to Border Patrol, since October more than 26 groups of 100 or more people have turned themselves in to agents in Antelope Wells. Most are parents with children and unaccompanied minors.
According to Border Patrol, some drug traffickers have used the large groups to time their smuggling operations to when Border Patrol agents are busy taking the families and kids into custody.