Sanctuary Bills Filed in New Mexico
By Colton R. Overcash | January 25, 2019
In the space of three days, two bills have been filed in the New Mexico Legislature to shield illegal aliens from deportation and transform the border state into a sanctuary for dangerous criminals.
On January 8, Senator Richard Martinez (D-Espanola) filed Senate Bill (SB) 196. Later in the week, Representative Patricia Roybal-Caballero (D-Albuquerque) filed a companion bill, House Bill (HB) 195. The two bills would:
- Prohibit state and local governments from using or authorizing the use of public funds, personnel, property, equipment or resources to investigate, interrogate, identify, detain, arrest, detect, or prolong the detention of a person for the purpose of immigration enforcement;
- Prevent state and local law enforcement agencies from entering into any formal or informal agreement with the federal government;
- Require a court-issued warrant before honoring immigration detainers;
- Prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from inquiring or collecting any information about an individual’s immigration status; and
- Restrict state and local law enforcement agencies from communicating with federal immigration authorities or providing them access to information about an illegal alien’s whereabouts.
The bills have a strong chance of becoming law since the state government is now a “trifecta,” with Democrats winning the gubernatorial race and keeping their majorities in both the House and Senate.
Moreover, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is an ardent proponent of giving generous benefits to illegal aliens, including driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, and health care. Governor Grisham also opposes any funding for the border wall and supports giving amnesty to recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. New Mexico already spends $602.7 million on 100,000 illegal aliens per year, according to FAIR’s 2017 cost study. These numbers will almost certainly rise if New Mexico becomes a sanctuary state.
In addition to the financial cost of becoming a sanctuary state, there is a huge public safety cost, too. Under California’s sanctuary law, Senate Bill (SB) 54, law enforcement agencies are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration authorities under any circumstance. As a result, criminal aliens are allowed to remain in the community and commit more crimes, including a twice-deported illegal alien who recently murdered two U.S. citizens.
New Mexico’s SB 196 and HB 195 would apply the same restrictions on law enforcement officials, effectively making it more difficult for federal immigration authorities to identify illegal aliens who’ve been arrested for serious crimes.