Santa Fe, NM - A new proposal that would prevent police from enforcing immigration laws is going before the New Mexico legislature.
According to The Herald, the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday, February 7th to pass the bill, which would prohibit any law enforcement officer in the state from cooperating with federal agents in deporting illegal immigrants.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D- Albuquerque, who said it was necessary to prevent discrimination against "Mexican-Americans." But Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque, said that if passed, the bill would place the state of New Mexico in danger of losing federal funding and prevents law enforcement officers from doing their jobs.
The proposal would ban agencies from getting “federal funds, equipment, personnel or resources for the purpose of detecting or apprehending” such immigrants. It comes at a time when a number of New Mexico towns and cities have declared themselves "sanctuary cities" for immigrants who are living in the country illegally.
President Donald Trump campaigned on building a wall along the United-States and Mexico border and promised deportation. He has also proposed a plan for local law enforcement officers to get involved in enforcing immigration laws.
There is also a legal question if such a bill is legal. The Constitution grants Sheriffs law enforcement authority which would be difficult for the state to control in such a manner. Also, federal law acts outside of State law. If the officers have special federal commission, then the State has little authority to direct how those officers conduct federal law enforcement.
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