SANTA FE, NM (AP) — When migrants overwhelmed New Mexico’s cities and shelters in 2019, Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham moved several dozen of them from border communities to Denver, where Christian congregations provided shelter and support. offered to provide.
Fast forward to 2022, neither Lujan Grisham nor Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti talk much about moving migrants across the border.
Lujan Grisham and Ronchetti declined to answer questions this week about whether and under what circumstances they would approve any new programs to move migrants from the New Mexico border region to other states.
Ronchetti, a former televised weatherman, has campaigned on a promise to crack down on migrant and illegal drug trafficking across the border by deploying troops and police along the state’s border with Mexico.
In addition, he has criticized some of the recently enacted laws that provide public benefits to migrants.
Still, that approach is a far cry from controversial moves by Texas Governors Greg Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis to send thousands of migrants from the South to Democrat-run states and cities while campaigning for re-election.
Ronchetti spokesman Ryan Seibel said in a statement, “Governors of Texas, Arizona and Florida are doing everything possible to draw attention to the border crisis perpetrated by Joe Biden and made worse by politicians such as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. has made it.” E-mail.
Ronchetti, who lost the 2020 US Senate race, campaigns with DeSantis at an August rally in Carlsbad.
Lujan Grisham’s spokeswoman Maddie Hayden called the Republicans’ migrant relocation a distraction.
In a statement Tuesday, Hayden said, “Governor DeSantis is using this opportunity to distract Americans from the fact that his far-right allies are trying to pass a nationwide abortion ban, a position that he stands by.”
In 2019, New Mexico struggled to accommodate the high numbers of migrants arriving from Central America, as immigration officials dumped asylum seekers in small border communities.
The governor’s office at the time paid for several dozen migrants to be taken to Colorado. The state also sued federal immigration officials, claiming they failed to meet their obligations. The case was dismissed by a federal judge.
In August of this year alone, US officials feared some 29,000 migrants along the US southern border near El Paso and New Mexico’s 180-mile border with Mexico in the context of high immigration from Venezuela.