New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham visits US-Mexico border
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) —
Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham traveled to the U.S. border with New Mexico to meet with members of the state's National Guard.
Lujan Grisham wanted to visit the border before making further decisions about National Guard deployments, according to governor's office spokesman Tripp Stelnicki.
The governor has expressed skepticism about President Trump's portrayal of immigration and border security situations amid the standoff over federal funding for a border wall. She mentioned seeing mainly women and children at the Border Patrol holding facility during her visit Friday, a sign she said mainly asylum seekers are being apprehended.
“I haven’t seen anything that indicated that we have an emergent crisis here in the border," said Lujan Grisham.
There are 118 National Guard members deployed in New Mexico, according to the governor. The governor is now asking the federal government for data to analyze what numbers have changed since the deployment of the National Guard.
“Contacts, detentions, I want to know whether we’re making the border really more secure and who is coming over, and what is happening, and that was not made clear to me today," said Lujan Grisham.
The governor said she expected to start receiving information next week.
“It must be clear that those investments are making a difference and that we’re utilizing and leveraging those appropriately and right now I’m not sure [about that]," said Lujan Grisham.
Lujan Grisham describes Trump's idea for a wall as outdated and ineffectual and has called on the president to end the shutdown. She also has emphasized humanitarian concerns about the treatment foreign women and children seeking asylum in the U.S., invoking the recent deaths in New Mexico of Guatemalan immigrant children Felipe Gomez Alonzo and Jakelin Caal while in U.S. custody.
Lujan Grisham's itinerary on Friday included stops at the border-side community of Sunland Park and the Santa Teresa port of entry to meet with officials with Customs and Border Protection and the New Mexico National Guard.
As a representative in Congress last year, Lujan Grisham used her position as chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to lambast the Trump administration's abandoned policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border.