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Monday, February 07, 2011

NALEO Joins Lawmakers' Opposition to Susana Martinez Racial Profiling Order (With Video)

Sen. Griego: problems with Gov. Martinez's executive order

This past Thurday, we posted about a press conference convened by a number of New Mexico's Democratic legislators at the Roundhouse who strongly oppose a recent executive order issued by Republican Governor Susana Martinez. The order requires state law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of "criminal suspects," and to report undocumented people to federal immigration authorities. More than two dozen lawmakers, including House and Senate members and leaders from around the state, participated in the press conference.

After the event, Sen. Eric Griego (D-Albuquerque) spoke with Mary Ellen about serious problems he and others have with the governor's order (video above). In part, Sen. Griego said:

I think it's unconstitutional, it's un-American, it's certainly not what we believe as New Mexicans here. We don't want to be Arizona ... We are proud of our diversity, we're proud of our civil rights, we're proud of our acceptance of differences and we don't think we ought to be marginalizing certain folks. We sure shouldn't be asking everybody to give up some of their rights because the governor thinks we should be targeting folks she thinks are causing problems.

... I know she's trying to respond to a part of her conservative base, but I think it's a disgrace that we're really targeting certain people and then asking everyone else to give up their rights in the process.

Sen. Griego also discussed how the order will put virtually all New Mexicans at risk of questioning and possible detainment if they happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. In another clip (see below) Sen. Griego outlines pending legislation introduced to counter the executive order.

NALEO Call for Withdrawal of Order
On Friday, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) issued a statement critical of Gov. Martinez's executive order and called for its withdrawal:

The executive order requires state law enforcement to ask the immigration status of everyone simply suspected of having committed a crime, allowing for individuals who could be innocent to be arrested without justification and wrongly reported to federal authorities.  Executive Order 2011-009 is a backdoor attempt at having state law enforcement officials act as federal immigration authorities. 
Implementation of this directive in New Mexico will negatively affect Latinos regardless of citizenship or immigration status, as similar policies have unjustly targeted all members of the Latino community.  The uncertainty of being wrongly arrested for the purpose of determining immigration status will increase mistrust of law enforcement and divert much-needed funds away from vital services.  Furthermore, it will hinder the promotion of public safety and cooperation between law enforcement and law-abiding residents.  We ask Governor Martínez to reconsider, and lift Executive Order 2011-009.

Sen. Griego discusses bills to counter racial profiling order

Legislation in Response to Executive Order
Two bills have so far been introduced to counter the order. Sen. Tim Keller (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Moe Maestas (D-Albuquerque) have introduced SB 151, Essential Services Access Act, which would prohibit emergency responders, including police, from questioning people about their immigration status when they call 911 or end up at the emergency room.

The bill as originally written received a Do Not Pass by the Senate Public Affairs Committee (SPAC), but a Committee Substitute was passed by a 5-1 vote and is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC). The substitute bill removed a section that would have required the secretary of homeland security and emergency management to develop a standardized management system for state and local agencies to provide emergency and disaster relief services.

Sen. Richard Martinez is sponsoring SB 152, Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws, which would prohibit law enforcement from detaining people based solely on immigration violations. It received  a Do Pass from the SPAC by a 5-0 vote and is also now before the SJC.

Senator Griego will be introducing a bill this week to effectively nullify Gov. Martinez's racial profiling executive order.

Take Action: Please contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote yes on SB 151 and SB 152. Also, please email or call the Governor's Office and urge Gov. Martinez to withdraw Executive Order 2011-09.

February 7, 2011 at 10:10 AM in Border Issues, Civil Liberties, Eric Griego, Hispanic Issues, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Minority Issues, NM Legislature 2011, Susana Martinez | Permalink


I see that this executive order has caused all kind of ruckus in New Mexico. This is all because Congress and its legislators waffled on the immigration issues for the past two decades and leaving it up to the states with high deficits to deal with. Governor Martinez is a courageous leader for taking a lead on a most difficult issue. The legislators should support her, not fight her on her efforts to keep NM safe and orderly. I can't see why there is so much fuss about racial profiling. The matter has been dealt with here in AZ for a year and nothing has changed in the sense of racial discrimination. The hype is not worthy of the level given. The cops will not abuse and those few [always a few] who do will be put on the carpet quicker than imagined with such scrutiny by all. As for the legislators in NM contesting the order, where are the alternatives?? Bring a solution to the table and not political rhetoric that got us in this mess to begin with..

Posted by: Carl Toersbijns | Feb 7, 2011 10:40:02 AM

The solution is to follow the constitution. The biggest blockers of comprehensive immigration reform have been Republicans in the Congress. All they care about is targeting and hounding people. Republicans stop anything meaningful from getting done and then complain nothing is done so states have to act. Besides, there is no big problem here at all!

Arizona is now seen as a racist, backwards state whose Republican "leaders" encourage hate mongers and bigots. We don't want NM to be in that league.

Posted by: Sondra | Feb 7, 2011 11:08:19 AM

The deficits in the states were caused by the Bush economy and crooks on Wall Street and also the refusal of the rich to pay what they should be paying for taxes. Don't blame immigrants who have always been hard workers and small business owners. "Carl" thinks he knows better than NAELO, LULAC etc. about what happens when racial profiling is supported by Republicans.

Posted by: New Mexico is NOT Arizona | Feb 7, 2011 11:13:57 AM

I want to commend our Dem Senators for pushing on this issue. It is good to see Dems stepping up to the plate and calling out Martinez on her tea bagger ways. We need to keep calling her out on this issue and many others.

Posted by: Ray | Feb 7, 2011 5:44:15 PM

All the reports say arrests and crime are down down down in border cities so why did Susana do this order? She is just playing to the teabaggers and nothing else. Stirring up hate for no reason except to get headlines on Fox News. Even worse that she is a Latina herself.

Posted by: Ruiz | Feb 7, 2011 7:59:00 PM

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