Although our nation's Declaration of Independence proclaims that "All [people] are created equal," for millions of Americans of color that promise remains unfulfilled. Our criminal justice system continues to unfairly and disproportionately target racial minorities, schools in communities of color often lack adequate funding, and the ongoing effects of institutionalized racism continue to create barriers to employment, homeownership, and financial security for people of color. New Mexico is a minority majority state with a diverse set of communities, some of which have been living in New Mexico for more than a thousand years. This richness of diversity makes racial justice all the more imperative for our state. To advance the cause of racial justice and equality, the ACLU of New Mexico has:
- Sued the New Mexico State Police for illegally searching Native American basketball players, after they were acused of stealing from an opposing team during a regional basketball tournament.
- Sued officers of the New Mexico Motor Transportation Division for targeting vehicles driven by African Americans for inspections, searches, and detentions at the MTD port of entry in Lordsburg, NM.
- Represented two African-American motorists who were profiled and stopped by multiple law enforcement agencies while travelling through New Mexico, subjected to racially demeaning language, and stripped of cash intended for a vacation in Las Vegas, NV.
- Filed a discrimination complaint against the New Mexico National Guard for failing to discipline soldiers who hung a noose outside a black guardsman's sleeping quarters and subjected him to racial slurs and harrassment.
- Filed an administrative complaint on behalf of 13 border residents, urging the Department of Homeland Secuirty and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to investigate racial discrimination and abusive treatment at ports of entry in El Paso, TX and Southern New Mexico.