The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Governor stands in defiance of president


February 13, 2019

Let’s start with this reality-based premise: The “national security crisis” we face is mostly internal. The violence and crime in our schools and on our streets doesn’t have anything to do with foreign-born “illegals” and terrorists. They’re almost entirely the result of angry and/or disturbed Americans.

The real crisis in our country isn’t so much “us” verses “them” as it is us verses us.

Black and white, rich and poor, city dweller and county folks, the mentally ill and the less mentally ill — as Americans, we’re all in this together and yet we still find ways to work against each other. We do it personally in passive-aggressive ways, while politically it’s done though callused and partisan power grabs.

Meanwhile, the demagogues among us gleefully egg it all on.

When Donald Trump talks about the “crisis” at our southern border, he is misleading the public. There are more suspected terrorists coming in from our northern border with Canada and through our airports (according to a State Department report) than across the U.S.-Mexico border, while most of our imported illegal drugs come in by sea and air (according to the Drug Enforcement Agency).

If there’s a crisis at our southern border, it’s a humanitarian crisis. Desperate families are fleeing violence in places like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, frequently heading north because it’s their best shot at survival. Then they’re met at our border by U.S. forces that refuse or delay their attempts to seek safety through asylum or other means of legal entry, so they try sneaking across instead. Sure, there are criminals among them, but they are vastly outnumbered by people who would gladly work their way up honestly, if given half a chance.

Trump has grossly mischaracterized the situation at the border, essentially creating a crisis by his own executive hand. Anyone who can’t see that is watching too much Fox News.

It’s a pockmark on our American soul that, for political reasons, we’ve separated children from their parents, rejected vulnerable families that are fleeing horrors in their homelands, and focused our attention not on them but on a stupid wall.

We’re talking about billions of dollars for an impractical, ineffectual barrier while turning away asylum seekers because we don’t have enough people in place to process all the requests.

Here’s an idea: Why not spend $5.7 billion (what Trump’s been demanding for his stupid wall) in border management? Then maybe we could build up a more secure and a more humane border.

Enter the state rebellions. California has become the nation’s leader in legally challenging the Trump administration on a variety of policies and practices, but, through our newly elected Democratic governor, New Mexico took some leadership of its own.

After a visit to the border a few weeks earlier, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the removal of National Guard troops from the New Mexico-Mexico border, except for a few she’s leaving in place for humanitarian support.

Then she put out a political commercial in which she literally runs through walls, including one with Trump’s picture attached. It’s funny, sensational and politically tainted — and, I admit, made me want to say: You go, Guv!

Lujan Grisham is apparently willing to speak and act in direct defiance to Trump — especially regarding the “security crisis” on the New Mexico-Mexico border. As long as Trump lies and distorts the truth, I say more power to her.

Tom McDonald is editor of the New Mexico Community News Exchange. Contact him at:


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