In the wake of the Trump administration announcing that it was going to launch a series of raids across major cities in the United States, on July 15, community leaders, elected officials, and immigrant families and members of El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, New México Dream Team, and the New México Immigrant Law Center spoke out at a press conference against Trump’s threats to detain and deport immigrant families across the nation.
Although New México has not appeared on any publically released priority list, since Trump took office, there has been an uptick of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity in New México– targeting immigrant workers and families in their homes, at work through I-9 audits and ICE enforcement, at our courts and within criminal justice systems.
Local elected officials emphasized that they will stand by “immigrant-friendly” policies which ensure that no local resources will be used to aid in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. “Albuquerque has a legacy of passing policies which are conducive to immigrant integration, public safety, and safeguarding the civil rights of all residents of our City,” said Mariela Ruiz Angel, coordinator for Albuquerque’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. “We are proud to have built upon that legacy since Mayor Keller’s took office. We acknowledge the vital economic, cultural, and civic contributions that immigrant communities make to our City and we will unapologetically continue to stand up for all Albuquerque families.”
“Trump’s targeting and criminalization of workers and families in an effort to stoke fear is misguided, immoral, and runs contrary to the values we aspire to as a nation,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton, “Our City’s immigrant-friendly policies reflect the fact that as a community, we want to be on the side of history that stands for keeping families together and recognizing the humanity and contributions of all Albuquerque residents. Our policies affirm that we will use no local resources to fuel Trump’s deportation machine.”
Community leaders emphasized the contributions of immigrant communities and the fact that immigrant-friendly policies reflect New Mexican values, “Workers are the cornerstone of our local economy. We are proud of the contributions that immigrant workers make to New México,” stated Marian Mendez Cera, a community organizer with El CENTRO. “Targeting our families for deportation is not only immoral, but would be devastating to our local economies. We are proud that we have passed local policies which reflect our collective values, aim to stop devastating family separation, and grow our local economies.”
“We want to empower our community and their deportation defense, not scare them. For this reason, it is vital that our immigrant families know of all the resources available to them so that they can be prepared,” said Felipe Rodríquez with New México Dream Team.
“Through our work we have witnessed and felt the effects of many policy enforcement changes that have taken place in the last few years,” said Martha Laura García an attorney at the New México Immigrant Law Center. “In Albuquerque we have witnessed ICE officers target community members with minor or no criminal history by using the criminal justice system as a dragnet which has undermined everyone’s fair day in court. Together we are stronger and have the power to push our local, state and federal government to stand up against these policies that are separating our country, we will prevail.
Organizations included as co-sponsors of the “Burqueño Families Belong Together” press conference include: El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Dream Team, and New México Immigrant Law Center.
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