Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order Monday to withdraw all of his state’s National Guard troops from the U.S. southern border with Mexico. Wisconsin troops have been stationed in Arizona since last June. Currently, 112 soldiers are working as part of border security.
Evers, a Democrat, exercised his authority as commander-in-chief of his state’s National Guard to revoke the order to send the militia to the southern border by former Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican.
According to the Evers executive order, President Donald Trump issued a memo in April 2018 directing the Secretary of Defense to support Homeland Security (DHS) in border protection. The Department of Defense then approved Title 32 status for National Guard units in the southern border states to provide extra security to support the DHS effort.
Then-Gov. Walker sent troops to the border on June 21, 2018, when Arizona requested the extra troops, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. government went into a partial shutdown on Dec. 22, 2018, when Republicans and Democrats in Congress couldn’t agree upon a temporary spending bill that would fund Trump’s proposed $5.7 billion border wall. Once the government reopened, a bipartisan committee hashed out an agreement that included less than a quarter of Trump’s wish, and the president declared a national emergency to obtain funding for his barrier.
However, Evers said there’s no emergency on the southern border, which triggered his order to bring home the Wisconsin troops.
“There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention of a national security crisis at our southwestern border. Therefore, there is no justification for the ongoing presence of Wisconsin National Guard personnel at the border,” Evers said.
Evers isn’t the first governor to bring home national guard troops from the border, as the governors of New Mexico and California both issued the same orders earlier this month, according to The Hill.
Though the president has been granted nearly $1.4 billion in border wall funding by Congress, Trump declared a national emergency. Sixteen states have filed a lawsuit against the White House, saying Trump’s declaration is a way to circumvent Congress.