A Republican lawmaker running for governor is calling for a deployment of National Guard troops to New Mexico’s southern border to stem what she says is a tide of undocumented immigrants and drugs flowing into the state.

In a news release issued by her campaign Tuesday, Rep. Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences, said if elected in November 2022, she would send troops to the border on her first day in office.

“Our neighboring states, Texas and Arizona, are doing their best to secure the border while the governor is just hook, line and sinker with President [Joe] Biden’s agenda — which is open border,” Dow said in a phone interview, referring to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Her call for troops came the same day Republican governors of 26 states sent a letter to Biden asking for a meeting to discuss ways to strengthen border enforcement policies.

The Republican Party of New Mexico also issued a news release Tuesday, calling on Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, to take action.

Dow’s comments come about a month after a Pew Research Center report said U.S. Border Patrol agents marked a 21-year high rate of encounters with migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in July — nearly 200,000.

The report added that figure far surpasses the most recent wave of migration in May 2019.

In recent weeks, leaders of states that don’t border Mexico — including Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin — have announced plans to deploy their National Guard troops or law enforcement personnel to Republican-led states along the southern border.

It’s unclear what jurisdiction, if any, the National Guard would have when it comes to interacting with migrants.

Joseph Vigil, a spokesman for the New Mexico National Guard, wrote in an email Tuesday there are no soldiers or airmen from the guard stationed along the border.

Dow said she would “have those troops take directives from the Border Patrol agents” if they were deployed.

A businesswoman and consultant to for-profit and community-based early childhood providers, Dow is one of six Republicans who have declared their intent to run for governor in the November 2022 election.

She said she believes border issues — including the illegal transport of drugs into the United States — will be “at the top of the list” of campaign issues for those gubernatorial candidates.

In an email, Nora Meyers Sackett, spokeswoman for Lujan Grisham, said the state Guard’s priority now is helping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The New Mexico National Guard has been tireless in their efforts to support and preserve New Mexicans’ public health, putting in countless hours assisting New Mexicans during the crisis of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which, despite state Republicans’ behavior suggesting otherwise, is not yet over,” she wrote.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

(26) comments

Tom Hyland

Here's a sobering reality check brought to you by columnist James Howard Kunstler regarding the border invasion, the economic implosion of millions of jobs and businesses, and familiar mayhem as the new normal stalks us all.


Angel Ortiz

And the ignorance of the NM GOP continues. It's like a horrible sitcom

Richard Forrest

Can Dow provide evidence of “the drugs” she claims are pouring into the state? Let’s see it. Without it, she’s just another “alternate reality” republican making bs up.

Bruce Taylor

This announced GOP candidate fits the GOP mold entirely. No where in anything she has said does she utter one word of empathy for Haitians who are suffering. Not one word about how we might better handle people in extremis and suffering. Zero compassion. Xenophobia at its utter worst. Her (and the GOP's only response to a humanitarian crisis showing up at our border is a frightened whining about needing more military at the border. In point of fact, I am faulting the Biden administration for keeping too much of GOP-backed Trump policies in place. Not even bothering much to alleviate hardship and suffering, the Biden Administration is simply sending people back to the various life-threatening tragedies they face "back home." A terrible message to the rest of the US and the World at large just at the time when we need to show the world that what the The Statue of Liberty memorializes isn't simply a lie. This isn't about "open borders" or about "drug trafficking" -- this is about simple kindness, decency, and a shared sense of humanity and empathy. If we can't get this right now, what happens when climate change forces major population shifts and migration? How will we respond then? And we better start preparing now for that eventuality, by the way.

Richard Reinders

Bruce the population shift won't come here because of climate change so your safe, too close to the sun and NO WATER! Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, would be my bet

Jim Klukkert

Sorry Richard Reinders, Minnesota is in a severe drought, Climate Change driven wild fires and tree killing beetles are going to eat the formerly green upper Midwest, to say nothing of the large Canadian tracts that are similarly doomed.

You can run, but there is nowhere you can hide.

Richard Reinders

The great lakes is the worlds largest fresh water system with 84% of the US fresh water.


Jim Klukkert

Richard Reinders- you might want to check out The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan. The Great Lakes ... are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.

So don't count your refuges before you take them, Richard.

Robert Fields

“Yvette Herrell Light”

No thanks.

JB Weinberg


Margaret Eyler

I’d love to hear more about how the National Guard is tirelessly helping coronavirus victims??? Are they all of a sudden trained RT’s??

John Tallent

what are RTs??? Looked it up and come with a blank.

Charlotte Rowe

FFS the last thing we need to do is to follow the lead of Texass and Arizona on ANYTHING, those two states are leading the pack in idiotic Magidiot policies and they are an embarrassment to the nation.

Margaret Eyler

Yeah! They’re almost as embarrassing as us at the bottom of every ranking except drunk driving and suicide!

John Tallent

In my opinion, of course close to the point. An embarsment (sp?) to say the least and I AM A NATIVE TEXAN.


Tobin Clark

Open border? Is that why Biden is flying thousands of Haitians fro the border back to Haiti? GOP: a political party built on lies, fear, hatred and ignorance.

Margaret Eyler

I think he’s only returned like 500 immigrants home (of 200,000 wowee how hardline) Your list of accusations is tired and baseless.

Mark Stahl

Pick a number, any number. You are aware that most undocumented immigrants came into the country legally and just didn’t go back.

B. Rosen

When in doubt, play your “trump” card: fear monger about immigrants. Hope this lady loses her bid to become governor.

Tom Hyland

I didn't vote for Trump. I bet you didn't either, B. Truth be known, I didn't vote for Hillary or Joe, either. However, Trump was adamant that our national borders be strengthened, not deliberately abandoned and left open to anyone and everyone to come walking in. New Mexico is usually in last place economically among every other State. How can New Mexico pay to support, with unlimited benefits as promised, the throngs of humanity allowed into the US on a daily basis? Got any ideas how this is supposed to play out? I sure hope Ms. Dow is elected Governor and gets asleep-at-the-wheel Michelle out of here before she does any more harm.

Charlotte Rowe

Bigot much? Ms. Dow sure is. And not very bright.

Tom Hyland

Since B. Rosen isn't going to answer the question, maybe you can give it a shot, Charlotte. How is New Mexico going to pay for unlimited access across our border? And how does "bigotry" come into your mind? These are illegal aliens and I don't care if we're being invaded by the Irish or the Italians. At Ellis Island they used to screen people. Read some history. An insecure border is going to erase America and write a whole new history. Here's another question... are you willing to pay for our new guests and lodge them at your house?

Margaret Eyler

How is that a bigoted comment?

Margaret Eyler


Red Eagle


The illegal immigrants is one problem, the bigger problems are drugs and sex slave operations taking full advantage of the Biden open border policy. The drug and homeless issues in NM will only get significantly worse if the current policy is not changed. MLG needs to step up to the plate and stop the flow of drugs into this state!

Charlotte Rowe

Totally agree. We don't need another dimwitted governor like that Tejana Martinez was. Small wonder Dow is following Texas and Arizona - she's no better than they are and clearly cannot think for herself. Makes me wonder whether she is an import.

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