Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham has awarded the “Humanitarian Governor’s Award 2019” to Luna County and in particular to the city of Deming, in recognition of the public service provided to thousands of asylum seekers who arrived across the country’s southern border.
Officials from the state executive’s office reported that the award was intended to distinguish a city and county that helped immigrant asylum seekers who were released in New Mexico after shelters in Texas filled up.
The Democratic governor has been a fierce critic of Trump’s immigration and border security policies.
Among her actions, Lujan Grisham sued the federal government earlier this year to secure local government spending to house and feed migrants.
Last April, the governor toured the shelters at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Triage Crisis Center, where she saw firsthand the help migrant families receive and the work of volunteers trying to contact family members in the U.S. so that undocumented immigrants can reach their final destination.
Luján Grisham was heavily criticized by conservative groups for being the first to order the withdrawal of the National Guard from the Mexican border in January, after Trump asked for assistance to deal with the situation in the region due to the arrival of the undocumented.
The Democrat has not only garnered media attention with the withdrawal of the National Guard on the border, but also with the release in February of a campaign video that had never been formally presented.
In it, the governor literally appears breaking down walls with her body, culminating in throwing herself head-on toward a replica of the wall Trump longed for, breaking it into pieces.
The video went viral, with over 800,000 views in less than 24 hours.
Like Texas and Arizona, New Mexico has been one of the states that has received large numbers of immigrants who come to the United States to seek political asylum.
During fiscal year 2018, at the port of entry of El Paso, on the U.S. border with Ciudad Juarez (Mexico), a total of 3,634 detentions associated with asylum requests were recorded, a 226% increase over the previous year, according to Border Patrol figures.
In New Mexico, 6,824 people voluntarily present themselves at ports of entry in the same year, a 63 percent increase over the national total of 38,269.
The sector with the highest number was Laredo (Texas), with 15,103 migrants who surrendered to the authorities and a growth of 121%, followed by San Diego (California), with 12,423 and an increase of 187% compared to fiscal year 2017.
The Governor’s Humanitarian Award 2019 will be presented this afternoon at the governor’s mansion in Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico.