STATEWIDE IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS ORGANIZATION REACTS TO SERIES OF NEW EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION; CONTINUE PUSH FOR STRONGER LOCAL SANCTUARY POLICIES
January 25, 2017
SANTA FE--On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced two anti-immigrant executive orders aimed at, among other things, building a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, increasing the number immigration enforcement agents and detention centers, and taking action against local governments that "prevents or hinders" enforcement of federal immigration laws.
The following is a statement from Somos Un Pueblo Unido, New Mexico's statewide immigrants' rights organization:
"President Trump's dangerous executive orders threaten to separate immigrant families using a massive deportation force, enrich private prison companies that profit from human tragedy, and strip immigrants of their due process rights. These have proven to be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer's resources, and they ultimately make our communities less safe. This is an affront to New Mexico's deep tradition of protecting vulnerable minorities and standing up for equal treatment under the law.
Somos Un Pueblo Unido, along with faith, community, labor and business allies, have worked with communities across the state to pass local policies to ensure that we are not discriminating against people because of national origin or immigration status. Our laws simply do not allow this administration to compel or coerce those communities into enforcing those civil immigration laws, and we will not stand by and allow our cities to become accomplices to the persecution and deportation of our families."
Additional quotes from elected officials, civil rights organizations and Somos members from across the state:
"These policies make our communities safer by promoting a more trusting relationship between mixed status immigrant families and the local police." said María Cristina López, founding Board Member of Somos Un Pueblo Unido. "And our non-cooperation policies have helped local agencies avoid the kinds of lawsuits many other communities have faced because of their collaboration with immigration agents--collaboration that often creates an environment ripe for racial profiling and civil rights abuses."
"We will not be deterred from standing up for the most vulnerable in our community," said Santa Fe City Councilor Renee Villarreal and a primary sponsor of a city council resolution that would strengthen Santa Fe's sanctuary policies. "We will continue working to ensure that our city not only reaffirms our commitment to protecting all our residents regardless of immigration status, but strengthen those policies in the face of the political rhetoric used to instill fear and division."
"We will not allow the new administration to bully our local government into helping federal agents persecute members of our community," said Santa Fe City Councilor Joseph Maestas, long-time immigrant advocate and a primary sponsor of a city council resolution that would strengthen Santa Fe's sanctuary policies. "Santa Fe will continue standing up, as we have for decades, for the rights of immigrant families that are a vital part of our great community. It is time for our city to take a stand as our city's future is being unduly threatened."
"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."
"We have seen first-hand how local sheriff collaboration with immigration agents terrorizes immigrant families and threatens everyone's public safety," said Estefania Ortiz, long-time resident of Farmington and member of Families United for Justice, Somos' affiliate group in San Juan County. "We will continue to hold all law enforcement accountable, including ICE, for the good of our communities."
"We don't stand alone," said Ramon Granillo, long-time resident of Española and member of Somos Española, Somos' affiliate group in Rio Arriba County, twenty-three-year resident of Española. "We have the support of our County, City Council, our Mayor, local police and the rest of our community. Together we will not allow these executive orders to divide us and threaten our community's public safety."
"We are going to continue doing what we have always done," said Margarita Murillo, member of Somos Gallup, Somos affiliate in McKinley County, and twenty-year resident of Gallup. "We are going to do everything in our power to protect our families from deportation."
"Our families have deep roots here," said Veronica Chavez, member of Somos Lea County, and long-time resident of Hobbs. "This is our home and we aren't going anywhere. The fight will get tougher, but we will not back down."
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.