NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEGAL ORGANIZATIONS ENDORSE SANTA FE RESOLUTION THAT STRENGTHENS POLICIES FOR IMMIGRANTS
February 11, 2017
SANTA FE, NM-On Saturday, Somos Un Pueblo Unido announced several key endorsements from national and local legal organizations for a proposed city council resolution that reaffirms Santa Fe's non-discrimination policies towards immigrants and creates a broad confidentiality policy to protect the sensitive personal information of all its residents.
In the wake of President Trump's orders to launch deportation raids across the country and to coerce local governments into aiding in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, several jurisdictions are moving to pass and fortify existing policies that protect their immigrant residents. Santa Fe's resolution will go before the Finance Committee this Monday, February 13th at 5 p.m. and before the full council on February 22nd. Last month, it was recommended unanimously by the Santa Fe Immigration Committee.
The national and New Mexico-based legal organizations endorsing the resolution this week are: National Immigration Law Center; Immigrant Legal Resource Center; the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico; New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association; Institute for Legal Training and Instruction; New Mexico Immigrant Law Center; Santa Fe Neighborhood Law Center; Santa Fe Dreamer's Project; and a leading Albuquerque civil rights firm, Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward, P.A.
The city proposal, endorsed by dozens of local faith, labor, business, and community groups, also contains several new policies aimed at further integrating immigrants into the civic, cultural and economic life of Santa Fe. It includes improving language access for non-English speaking residents and working with Santa Fe's other local governments to coordinate support and civil rights education for immigrant families and businesses.
"This anti-discrimination resolution will help cities like Santa Fe assert their right to determine how best to use their local resources against threats from the federal government," said David Urias of Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward. "It is a powerful legal tool that cities across the country can replicate as they fight to protect their residents, regardless of immigration status."
"Our city has a long tradition of ensuring that every resident is treated equally under the law and is not discriminated against," said Daniel Yohalem, a Santa Fe attorney and President of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Law Center. "This resolution protects that tradition with stronger policies aimed at improving the quality of life for everyone in our community, including immigrants. It will also strengthen our position as a city to fight the new administration's threats to our local governments."
"New Mexico has a long history of upholding equality, justice for all, and local governance and control," said Damian Lara, President of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association. "We will not sit idle while our local governments are being bullied into engaging in the shameful practice of discrimination. During these uncertain times, cities like Santa Fe must stay the course, not only to protect their residents but also to set an example of leadership and strength to their counterparts across the state."
"We need all our local governments and community partners to work together to help protect our families, neighborhoods, schools and businesses from this administration's unprecedented attacks," said Gabriela Ibañez Guzmán, staff attorney at Somos Un Pueblo Unido's United Worker Center. "We are encouraged so many legal groups are standing with us in this movement to resist these appalling threats against our families."
These organizations are endorsing the resolution entitled: "REAFFIRMING THE LONG STANDING STATUS OF THE CITY OF SANTA FE AS A WELCOMING COMMUNITY FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES AND MAKING POLICY CHANGES TO SAFEGUARD RESIDENTS' SENSITIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION AND PRESERVE RESIDENTS' HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS"
Click here to view the proposed resolution. (Click Substitute Resolution underneath Reaffirming Non-Discrimination Status)
Somos Un Pueblo Unido is a statewide immigrant-led civil and worker's rights organization with membership teams in ten counties and offices in Santa Fe and Roswell.