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Thursday, February 03, 2011

NM Legislators Denounce Susana Martinez's Plan to Have Police Ask About Immigration Status

A group of state New Mexico House and Senate members will hold a press conference at Noon today at the state capitol to oppose an anti-immigrant Executive Order signed by the Governor and other proposed anti-immigrant legislation. They will also discuss proposed legislation to protect civil rights and public safety, including a bill to prohibit state public safety personnel from asking about immigration status.

Executive Order 2011-09 signed by Governor Susana Martinez this week would mandate that state law Enforcement Officials inquire into an individual's immigration status of any “criminal suspect.”

"The Governor’s Executive Order is a step backward in the fight against domestic violence. It will empower abusers who will now use the fear of immigration consequences to further control their victims -- thus convincing victims to not report acts of domestic violence to local law enforcement," said Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Bernalillo County.)

“The Governor’s Executive Order forcing state police to become de-facto immigration officials will mean every New Mexican -- not just undocumented immigrants -- will be required to prove they are legal residents if they are stopped by police,” said Senator Richard Martinez (D-Rio Arriba County).

Senator Martinez introduced SB 152, which prohibits law enforcement from detecting or detaining persons solely based on immigration violations.

“The executive order undermines community policing efforts and creates barriers for immigrants and mixed status families to contact the police and serve as witnesses in the criminal justice system,” said Senator Tim Keller (D-Albuquerque).

Sen. Keller and Rep. Maestas are introducing legislation to prohibit first responders from asking about immigration status of persons seeking assistance.

“The Governor’s measure provides no real protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assaultand other violent crimes, despite the language in the executive order which purports to do so,” said Senator Linda Lopez (D-Bernalillo County.)

“With the state of New Mexico's economy and proposed cuts to vital services and to our education system, it is alarming that the new administration would prioritize policies which criminalize immigrants -- drawing away attention from the REAL issues that impact working families,” said Senator Eric Griego (D-Albuquerque).

Sen. Griego will introduce legislation this week to prohibit law enforcement police from asking about immigration status of members of the public.

February 3, 2011 at 11:26 AM in Border Issues, Children and Families, Civil Liberties, Hispanic Issues, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Minority Issues, NM Legislature 2011 | Permalink

Comments

Thank you to Sen. Martinez for being proactive and introducing SB152. Thank you to those other Reps. and Sen. for protecting the civil and HUMAN rights of the citiziens of New Mexico. I am happy to see our Senators and Reps. taking a stand against the inhumane actions of Gov. Martinez. We can not allow New Mexico to become the new Arizona. We have seen the economic impact has had on our vecinos to the west. New Mexico can not afford boycotts!!!!

Posted by: Angelo | Feb 4, 2011 3:01:32 PM