Immigration Battle Breaks Out in New Mexico

Immigration Battle Breaks Out in New Mexico

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After barely a month in office, New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez is at logger-heads with immigrant advocates and organizations. In every corner of the Land of Enchantment, immigrant organizations and their supporters are protesting an executive order signed by Martinez this week that orders New Mexico police to report all arrested undocumented persons to federal immigration authorities.

Put into effect on January 31, Executive Order 2011-009 recognizes that while it is not the responsibility of state law enforcement to enforce federal immigration statutes, New Mexico police must comply with sworn duties to uphold all laws and "cooperate and communicate with federal authorities."

"This order takes the handcuffs off of New Mexico law enforcement officers in their mission to keep our communities safe," Governor Martinez said in a statement.

The legal directive is careful to declare that crime victims and witnesses should not be subjected to an inquisitive probe of their immigration status.

In response, the Las Cruces-based Task Force for Immigrant Advocacy and Services in Southern New Mexico (TIAS), protested that the new state policy could lead to racial profiling and the arbitrary use of traffic stops, and "potentially undermine civil rights for all New Mexicans."

Further, Executive Order 2011-009 conveys a lack of respect for New Mexico's immigrant residents, the TIAS charged.

"New Mexico has reaped tremendous benefits from opening its door to migrants," the group said in a press statement. "Migrants are the backbone of the agricultural industry that brings millions of dollars to New Mexico every year....

Besides inviting litigation, Executive Order 2011-009 is also sparking public protests. The Santa Fe-based Somos un Pueblo Unido organization and its allies had scheduled a February 2 demonstration in Santa Fe to protest the measure as well as pending legislation targeting immigrants, but postponed the action until Monday, February 7, because of the intense winter storm freezing the state.

Along with numerous organizations and individuals, Somos un Pueblo Unido is organizing the 1000 Women March also planned to take place in Santa Fe later next week. In addition to immigrant rights, the February 11 march will call for anti-poverty initiatives, equal rights, education, environmental protection and economic development.

Other New Mexico groups organizing or endorsing the 1000 Women March include the League of United Latin American Citizens, Albuquerque's Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, Concerned Citizens of Wagon Mound and American Federation of Government Employees Local 4041, among many others.

According to the march's organizers, activists seek a "frank, direct and permanent dialogue with the Governor towards developing viable solutions to the problems that affect our families and communities."

A former district attorney for southern New Mexico's Dona Ana County, which borders Mexico, Susana Martinez is New Mexico's first female governor.

 

Comments

 
Anonymous

Posted Feb 4 2011

It is the full responsibility of our new elected Governor Susana Martinez and our legislators and political elected officials to protect the rights of the New Mexicans that voted them into office. Voters trusting them to protect our constitutional rights, and to hear the peoples voice, the voices that are against ALL illegal aliens, not legally documented, with no background checks what so ever. The majority of New Mexicans are against allowing illegal aliens to remain in our state ILLEGALLY. Illegal is illegal. Giving them drivers licenses without motorist insurance or with a low coverage of motorist insurance, should not even be option, they are here without legal documentation. Some of them are hardcore criminals and in return when a crime is committed all they get is deportation. The real victims in our state are the New Mexicans, taxpayers, paying for the illegals financial burdens, medical, education, welfare, food stamps etc. Illegal is illegal and no matter what any Hispanic, chicano, made up organizations supporters of illegal aliens, they have to abide by our state and our countries laws . It is not a racial issue, it's about illegal aliens being here illegally by the millions having babies by the millions at the taxpayers expense. Who is above the LAW! The law is to protect all AMERICANS in our country and our state from trespassers entering without any kind of documents, without birth certificates, working with the same relatives social security number, made up or stolen social security numbers etc. Isn't that also breaking the law?

Anonymous

Posted Feb 8 2011

How can this law "potentially undermine civil rights for all New Mexicans."? If people are citizens they have nothing to worry about.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 24 2011

Frustrated American,

The illegal immigrants do not know the American Traffic laws and are killing American citizens with their automobiles. Most are drunk, do not have drivers licenses, and have numerous driving citations but they still drive on American highways ofen walking away from an accident scene. The border needs to be secure and the illegal immigrants need to get their immigration papers legally not illegally, all illegal immigrants are ILLEGAL and the Obama administration should be jailed for encouraging illegals to enter the U.S. illegally.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 25 2011

This is an issue of humanity, not legality. These people are seeking refuge from a situation far removed from the American reality. Many of them leave their families to scrub toilets, work agriculture and even serve in the United States military, and they serve proudly.

There was an ugly time in our country's history when white people cheaply separated black families for mere dollars. There was an ugly time in our country's history when the government rounded up Japanese Americans and forced them into enclosed camps - forcing the families to loose all their belongs (houses, cars, family heirlooms, etc.). Despite their illegal and un-American treatment, many Japanese Americans enlisted in the United States Army. There was an ugly time in our country's history when Americans turned away hungry, starving families, when they didn't want to provide a child with an education and the chance to live a good life. There was a time in our countries history when we slammed the door in our neighbors face......that time is now. - Ryan Horn Niles, MI

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