New Mexico governor tells Mayorkas she has 'serious concerns' about migrant influx

New Mexico wildfires have taxed state resources

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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she penned a letter on Tuesday to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting that the federal government delay any planned or expanded efforts to transport migrants to her state. 

In a press release, the Democratic governor said that move would "dramatically affect the state’s capacity to provide ongoing humanitarian assistance to wildfire relief efforts," should pandemic-related restrictions on asylum seekers be lifted.

Lujan Grisham said that wildfires had "severely taxed" state resources

"Accordingly, I cannot allow communities in the state of New Mexico to shoulder additional burdens falling squarely within the federal government’s purview. To that end, I am respectfully requesting that the Department of Homeland Security ("Department") delay any planned or expanded efforts to transport migrants to locations within the United States," she wrote. 

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The state's leader said that, while she understands the difficulty in managing the flow of migrants at the southern border "in the absence of comprehensive immigration reforms," she has "serious concerns regarding the Department’s readiness to address the influx of individuals who are poised to enter New Mexico if further preparation is not undertaken."

President Biden, left, takes a tour with Mark Chappell, an operations manager with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, at the New Mexico State Emergency Operations Center, Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. 

President Biden, left, takes a tour with Mark Chappell, an operations manager with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, at the New Mexico State Emergency Operations Center, Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"Public safety and health are paramount, and I do not believe that the Department can adequately address these health and safety concerns if existing limitations on migrant entry are lifted," she noted. 

Furthermore, the governor said New Mexico and other border states would bear the brunt of adverse economic and social impacts likely to arise from the influx of migrants without additional planning by the federal government. 

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"I cannot allow this. Until the matters can be satisfactorily addressed, I cannot support the transport of migrants to New Mexico, which will burden New Mexico government, communities and citizens," she added. 

Lujan Grisham said she appreciated assurance from Mayorkas that New Mexico’s resources would not be expended to address immigration policy. 

FILE PHOTO: The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon wildfire burns near Las Vegas, New Mexico, U.S. May 4, 2022. 

FILE PHOTO: The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon wildfire burns near Las Vegas, New Mexico, U.S. May 4, 2022.  (REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File Photo)

The letter follows a meeting with Mayorkas last month and President Biden's trip to New Mexico last week. 

The president announced that the government would cover 100% of the costs for emergency protective work and debris removal under New Mexico’s existing wildfire disaster declaration.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, left, greets President Biden at Kirtland Air Force Base during a trip to meet with state and local officials on the New Mexico wildfires, Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Albuquerque, N.M. 

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, left, greets President Biden at Kirtland Air Force Base during a trip to meet with state and local officials on the New Mexico wildfires, Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Albuquerque, N.M.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

New Mexico's largest wildfire in history was the result of planned burns by the government. 

A federal judge blocked the Biden administration's plan to lift the migrant restrictions last month, ordering that they stay in place while a lawsuit led by Arizona and Louisiana plays out.

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The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.