New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez announced Monday she signed an executive order that rescinded the “sanctuary status for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New Mexico while protecting victims and witnesses of criminal acts.” According to a statement, the executive order signed by Governor Martinez directs law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of those who are arrested for committing crimes.
“This order takes the handcuffs off of New Mexico’s law enforcement officers in their mission to keep our communities safe,” said Governor Martinez. “The criminal justice system should have the authority to determine the immigration status of all criminals, regardless of race or ethnicity, and report illegal immigrants who commit crimes to federal authorities. Meanwhile, it is important that we safeguard the ability of victims and witnesses to report crimes to law enforcement officers without fear of repercussion.”
Read full executive order here.
The fight against illegal immigration on the state level is growing. According to the National Conference of Sate Legislatures, lawmakers on the state level filed 1,400 immigration related bills and resolutions in 2010. Arizona kicked off a firestorm of controversy around the country last spring after state lawmakers passed an immigration bill that could require, under certain circumstances, state law enforcement officers to ask an individual’s immigration status during an arrest or minor violation. The passage of Arizona’s law led to the Department of Justice to file a lawsuit against the state.