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Gov. Tony Evers Pulls Wisconsin National Guard Troops From Border

Gov. Tony Evers gives his first State of the State address on Jan. 22, 2019.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced on Monday that the state's National Guard troops are returning home from Arizona. Evers issued an executive order, which says 112 Wisconsin National Guard personnel are currently performing border security duties.

The troops were deployed to the border in June 2018 with the consent of Evers' predecessor Scott Walker, a Republican. Walker acted after GOP President Donald Trump requested assistance at the border.

In April 2018, Trump issued a presidential memorandum on border security to the Secretary of Defense, Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security. The memorandum directed the Secretary of Defense to "support the Department of Homeland Security in securing the southern border and taking other necessary actions to stop the flow of deadly drugs and other contraband, gang members and other criminals, and illegal aliens into this country," and to "request use of National Guard personnel to assist in fulfilling this mission."

Gov. Evers, who took office last month, is a Democrat. In a statement Monday, he said: "There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention that there exists 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 added: "Keeping all of our borders safe and crime-free, and protecting immigrants who seek asylum at our borders, many of whom are women and children, is the responsibility of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol."

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, issued a statement in response to Evers' decision. Johnson said: "Securing our borders is a top priority of our nation, and I'm proud of Wisconsin's National Guard for playing a valued role. It's unfortunate Governor Evers doesn't agree, and has decided to withdraw them from their important mission."

Ann-Elise Henzl became News Director in September 2017.