Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico

Christiane Amanpour speaks to Michelle Lujan Grisham, who became the Democrats’ first Latina Governor when she took office in New Mexico, and quickly made headlines when she ordered all national guard troops withdrawn from her state’s border.

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GOVERNOR MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM: Well, I do want to talk about the challenges at the border. New Mexico, if you will, has become an Ellis Island and we want to take that issue seriously and we’re not going to shy away that it presents significant challenges. But here’s the difference. I’m leading the state with great support from incredible New Mexicans who are rising to this challenge and responding to a call for action. Unlike the president, who is fear-mongering, who’s creating tensions at the border, who will not negotiate, who will not work with Congress, will not invest in the issues that would prevent the kind of mass migration that we’re seeing today, will not do anything about dealing with serious problems like human trafficking and drugs coming into the United States in any number of areas, including the Post Office.

Instead, he wants to build a wall. So, he declared, he tried to declare a national emergency and tried to use our resources in order to justify that political rhetoric. Instead, the National Guard isn’t needed, because they can’t do immigration enforcement. That is an unlawful act. And so, I was refusing to participate in that.

Where I am absolutely on the ground, unlike the Federal Government, I have Homeland Security on the ground doing communications, setting up law enforcement support to our state police who are also there. Because having an influx of people creates a public safety challenge. We have nonprofits and local leaders and mayors providing housing and transportation. I’ve got my Department of Health who’s providing necessary medical services. I mean, these are folks who are dehydrated. And I can tell you what we’re not doing, we’re not doing. We’re not putting toddlers in cages, we are working to make sure that we are responding to a very real — very real humanitarian crisis that this

President is participating in, and helping to create by refusing to hire Border Patrol agents, having them adequately trained, keeping ports of entry open, and allowing asylum seekers to seek asylum correctly and appropriately and providing visas on the front end and investing in the problems in these countries who are facing horrific violence.

I expect Congress to continue to work on that, to secure the border, to invest in smart technology, and in personnel that makes a difference there. And my state will participate in cooperate fully with those evidence based smart, reasonable national security and border security issues. And I’m not going to treat children and their mothers as a national security threat in my state.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Dimitri Simes in an exclusive interview; and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham about withdrawing all National Guard troops from her state’s border. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Jamie Metzl about genetic engineering.