Strengthening ABQ's Immigrant Friendly Status in a Trump Era: R-18-7
Esteemed Albuquerque City Council members and Mayor Tim Keller,
We recognize and are proud of the vital contributions that immigrant and refugees make to the economic, intellectual, and social/cultural fabric of our City. We urge you to support Resolution 18-7 which would strengthen Albuquerque’s status as an immigrant-friendly city. By supporting the resolution, you will continue honoring Albuquerque’s proud legacy of passing policies that are conducive to upholding civil rights, protecting immigrants from being targeted for deportations, and that promote public safety of all our families.

Since day one, Donald Trump has aimed to target and persecute immigrants, refugees, Muslims, LGBTQ communities, low-wage workers, women, and communities of color.

Trump has made many promises suggesting mass deportation is on the way. However, resource constraints could limit some of the damage the federal government can inflict on its own. As a result, the Administration will need cooperation from local governments to help it carry out many of these threats. If Albuquerque refuses to act as arms of ICE, then it is less likely that ICE will have the resources to carry out Trump’s expansive and terrifying vision fully.

Although Albuquerque has had immigrant-friendly policies since 2000, in light of the new threats posed by the Trump administration and after our communities lived through a dark period in which Mayor Berry invited collaboration with ICE, we now have an opportunity to codify additional protections.

• R-18-7 Will Help to Keep ABQ’s Families Together- ABQ’s immigrant communities are only too aware of the cost of targeting hardworking ABQ families for deportation— plunging already vulnerable families into further poverty, separating ABQ’s children from their parents, and creating a heightened sense of fear and anxiety.

• R-18-7 Reflects our Values as New Mexicans and Is Conducive to Immigrant Integration- In New Mexico we value family and we strive to pass policies which are conducive to public safety. Immigrant-Friendly policies recognize the importance of immigrants’ many contributions to the social, cultural, intellectual and economic fabric of our city.

• R-18-7 Will Foster Public Safety and Community Policing: involvement of local government in the enforcement of federal civil immigration laws deteriorates community trust in law enforcement and undermines community policing and harms law enforcement’s productive and trusting relationship with the immigrant community.*
• R-18-7 Will discourage Pretextual arrests and Racial Profiling- Enforcement programs that use local law enforcement and local jails as a pipeline to federal deportation programs have been found to foment pretextual arrests and racial profiling.

• R-18-7 Will Ensure that Limited Public Safety Resources are focused on real public safety threats— our limited public safety resources should focus on those who pose a public safety threat, regardless of their immigration status, not in targeting community members because of their country of origin.

• R-18-7 Immigrant Friendly Policies Strengthen the Local Economy - Immigrant-owned businesses have created jobs, generated millions of dollars in local tax revenue and revitalized many of our cities business corridors. Immigrant-owned businesses are essential to our public safety and their collaboration with local law enforcement supports community-policing efforts that keep our neighborhoods and business districts safe and accessible.

• R-18-7 Is in Line with the Constitution of the United States and Federal Law - sanctuary policies lie in line, not in defiance of our federal system. Local jurisdictions have no legal obligation to assist with the civil immigration enforcement, which is the sole responsibility of the federal government. Recent injunctions issued by federal courts are yet another win against the Trump Administration’s illegal efforts to coerce local law enforcement agencies to be involved in federal immigration enforcement by threatening to deny federal funding.
For the aforementioned reasons, we as a community, urge your support of R-18-7.

*Searching Out Sanctuary, An Analysis of America’s Counties and Their Voluntary Assistance with Deportation; Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Respectfully,

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