KUNM

Measure Would Keep Local Police From Enforcing Immigration Laws

Mar 17, 2017

A proposal that would prevent state and local police from detaining or arresting people who are in the U.S. illegally was scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor in Santa Fe this week. 

The measure, SB 270, would prevent local and state law enforcement agencies from using their resources for immigration enforcement. Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) sponsored the bill.

“New Mexico is not in the business of separating families,” Lopez said. “There may be a father who has been here for 20 [to] 30 years, married, has a wife who is a U.S. citizen, children too—and to have that family separated, should not be done.”

New Mexico’s 60-day legislative session ends on Saturday and the bill still needs approval from the full Senate and the full House. If the measure goes to Governor Susana Martinez, Lopez said she would probably veto the measure. Just last week the governor ordered the state corrections department to provide information to Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement in order to speed up deportations. 

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The People, Power and Democracy project examines ethics, transparency and accountability in state government. The project is funded by the Thornburg Foundation and by contributions from KUNM listeners.