Citing “no justification” for stationing National Guard troops at the U.S.-Mexico border, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order Monday withdrawing more than 110 soldiers and airmen of the Wisconsin National Guard from Arizona’s southern border.
“There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention that there exists a national security crisis at our southwestern border,” Evers said in a statement, referring to President Donald Trump’s claim that the U.S. is facing an immigration emergency:
Evers’ predecessor, Republican Gov. Scott Walker, deployed the state’s National Guard to Arizona last June following a proclamation signed by Trump ordering the National Guard to protect the border. In his executive order this week, Evers said that he revoked consent for this deployment and called for all 112 Wisconsin National Guard to be “promptly” pulled off their current missions at the border.
Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin were quick to lambaste Evers’ decision. Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, called the governor’s move “unfortunate.” Scott Fitzgerald, the majority leader of the state Senate, accused Evers of “playing politics instead of working to keep Wisconsin safe.”
GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who said he serves in the Wisconsin National Guard, also took issue with Evers’ announcement.
“I’m grateful to my fellow Wisconsin Guard members, and I’m deeply disappointed you won’t let them do what they are trained to do for the good of the country. [Gov. Evers] I hope you’ll reconsider,” Kinzinger wrote.
Evers is the third governor this month to pull National Guard troops from the border. The first was New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who declared that her state would “not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) soon followed suit, announcing his intention on Feb. 11 to pull most of the state’s 360 National Guard troops from the border.
“The border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis, and California will not be part of this political theater,” Newsom said.
Days later, Trump — in an effort to fund his much-touted border wall — declared a national emergency at the southern border.
“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it one way or the other,” Trump said at the time.