New Mexico Governor Michelle Luján Grisham is doubling down on her decision to withdraw the state's National Guard from border duty. In her criticism yesterday of President Trump 's State of the Union call for tighter border security including physical barriers, she asserted that, "walls don't work." Earlier in the week, Luján Grisham ordered 100 or so National Guard troops to return home from border duty primarily near and west of El Paso, Texas. Grisham made an exception by leaving a handful of agents in the far southwest boot heel area of Hidalgo County, New Mexico. She also ordered the deployment of additional New Mexico State Police troopers to the border area of the boot heel.
Meanwhile, a former head of the Border Patrol in El Paso says the barriers help agents do their job. Silvestre Reyes says when he was active years ago before the barriers were set up in the El Paso area, agents spent time chasing down bandits. Reyes says the bandits would jump onto trains or ravage border residents' front yards and ranch property to steal whatever they could carry and run back to Juárez. Reyes says he thinks a combination of physical structures, sufficient number of boots on the ground and technology for better surveillance is the best solution for effective border security.