Border Wall
Credit: iStock

An interesting thing has happened since Donald Trump ordered 5,200 federal troops to the southern border last October in a ploy to influence the election. One of the border states elected and inaugurated a Democratic governor. While Trump has again ordered troops to the border in Texas (this time to highlight his need for a wall), over in New Mexico things are a bit different this time around.

The governor of New Mexico ordered the state’s National Guard to withdraw a majority of its troops from the southern border, slamming what she called President Donald Trump’s “charade” shortly before his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement…

…She also ordered troops from outside of the state, including Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wisconsin, to return to their home states.

Governor Grisham is still mindful that there are communities in her state that are seeing migration, which is why she is committing some resources to Hidalgo County.

But how many resources does she think are necessary? It turns out that she is committing approximately 12 guardsman and six state police officers. So, by her estimation, she can adequately deal with the “emergency” on her state’s southern border with 18 people.

Now, perhaps she’s wrong. Perhaps she needs more than 18 people to adequately protect her state from all manner of drugs and crime. But she knows that she’ll suffer politically if anything bad happens, so it’s a safe bet that she isn’t taking security lightly. If she wanted to be a little more on the safe side, she could triple the number and maybe have a few more than fifty people dedicated to the “crisis.”

What she won’t do is humor the president’s “charade.”  Since she’s not a Republican, she doesn’t have any reason to humor him.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at