BILLINGS – As the former governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson knows a few things about the challenges of a border state.
"What we need is more boarder patrol agents, more technology at the boarder to detect illegal traffic. We don’t need a wall, we don’t need the National Guard. Immigration is reduced. I was a border governor, it’s gone down on the boarder…it’s being reduced," Richardson, a Democrat, said Friday in Billings.
Richardson, also a former U.S. Energy secretary, was in town at the Northern Hotel to speak at a coal conference. He spoke with MTN News about energy and also shared his view on border security and Republican President Trump’s plan to deploy the National Guard to the southern border.
While the details have not been finalized, the president said he wants the troops at the border until his proposed wall is built.
According to a study from the Department of Homeland Security last fall, border crossings are at a historic low, and at the time of the study, the border was at its most secure point in history as it related to illegal immigration.
"I think the president deserves credit for saying this is a big issue," said Richardson. "But do we need the National Guard there? Not when it’s going down, I don’t think it’s good policy."
The White House has yet to release any specific details on how many troops would be sent, how long they would stay, or how much it would cost.