Media Contact

Micah McCoy, (505) 266-5915 x1003 or mmccoy@aclu-nm.org 

January 25, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, New Mexico immigrants’ rights organizations, civil liberties advocates, faith leaders, elected officials, and other community representatives gathered to denounce the two executive orders concerning immigration and border policy signed by President Trump today.  The executive orders institute draconian immigration and border militarization policies that would tear immigrant families apart, erode civil liberties in border communities, and further entrench racial, ethnic, and religious bias in our immigration system.

The executive orders signal an inhumane pivot on immigration enforcement and a commitment to further militarize the U.S.-Mexico border. Some of the new policies contained in the orders include:

  • Increased militarization in the border region with thousands of new federal agents and construction of a border wall
  • Revocation of federal funding for cities who refuse to jeopardize community trust in law enforcement by having local officers enforce federal immigration law
  • Stepping up detention and deportation of immigrants and asylum seekers
  • Suspending refugee admissions

“President Trump has begun his assault on immigrants, refugees, and on religious freedom,” Rachael Lazar, Executive Director for El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos. “He is taking action to launch his mass deportation machine, trample over our constitutional rights, wall off our country both literally and figuratively, and turn our backs on those fleeing persecution and violence. New Mexico rejected Trump's agenda of hate in November and we have a proud legacy of passing policies which are conducive to integrating immigrants into the main stream.  We will use every tool out our disposal to fight back against senseless deportations, civil rights violations, and the exploitation of workers during the Trump administration.  We will organize to pass and strengthen local immigrant friendly policies, use strategic litigation, and ramp up our organizing efforts to fight back against Trump’s deportation machine and agenda of hate.”

“New Mexico will not stand by as President Trump’s discriminatory immigration and border policies tear apart families, increase the militarization of our border communities, and undermine trust and cooperation with local law enforcement agencies,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson. “Our state constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, and ethnicity and we will do everything in our power to ensure those protections are felt by every New Mexican.”

"In 2000, the City Council had the insight to pass a bi-partisan resolution—on a 9-0 vote— to declare Albuquerque an Immigrant-Friendly City,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis (District 6). “Part of the resolution dictated that "no municipal resources shall be used to identify an individuals' immigration status or apprehend persons on the sole basis of immigration status".  The Albuquerque City Council acknowledged then, just as I do now,  that the involvement of local government in the enforcement of federal civil immigration laws undermines community policing and isn't conducive to integrating immigrants into the mainstream.  It would be a mistake for Albuquerque to buy into the new administration's rhetoric and divisive agenda. I am committed to working with the immigrant community to explore ways in which the city council can protect our families."

"We must echo the Gospel that challenges us ‘to love our neighbor as ourselves’” said Justin Remer-Thamert from the New Mexico Faith for Immigrant Justice. “In New Mexico, our neighbors are immigrants, refugees, low-wage workers, and people of color. As people of faith, we oppose mass deportation, robbing DREAMERS of their future by repealing DACA, building walls, and banning Muslims. We are a nation that strives to root our values in compassion and justice. Trump’s hardline approach and rhetoric of hate has no place in our future.  We urge all people of conscience, including local elected officials, to join with us to choose compassion over hatred and fear and love and justice over bigotry."

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