- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Liberal groups are organizing protests targeting Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s visit to New Mexico - the state with the highest percentage of Hispanics in the nation - as top Republicans in the state are remaining noncommittal on whether they will attend the campaign event.

ProgressNow New Mexico, led by Democratic Albuquerque city councilor Pat Davis, has scheduled a demonstration in Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza across the street from where Trump will hold a rally Tuesday while immigrant rights groups quietly are planning various forms of civil disobedience.

The ProgressNow New Mexico demonstration will feature “anti-Trump games” with “anti-Trump signs or costumes” and a voter registration booth. However, members of other groups are asking advocates to sign up to attend the Trump rally to “shut him down.”

Trump’s campaign website announced he will hold a rally Tuesday evening at the Albuquerque Convention Center as New Mexico prepares for its primary on June 7.

Albuquerque police are preparing for multiple demonstrations, including possible disruptions inside the convention center. But authorities say they can’t give details for security reasons.

Trump has drawn strong criticism for his past comments about Mexican immigrants and suggestions that he would force Muslims to register. Those comments have sparked protests and violence at other Trump events, including one in Chicago two months ago that resulted in physical scuffles.

Fellow Republican and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has even denounced Trump for his past comments about Mexican immigrants and said she wasn’t ready to support him until he explained his plan to save the state’s military bases.

The governor’s office said Martinez has not decided if she will attend the rally.

Other New Mexico Republicans also won’t say if they will go to Trump’s rally or share the stage with him.

Rep. Steve Pearce, R-Hobbs, the state’s lone Republican in its congressional delegation, is not planning to attend, spokeswoman Megan Wells said.

GOP House Speaker Don Tripp hasn’t received an invitation or ticket to the Trump rally, Tripp spokesman Glenn Walters said. “But if he gets one, he will attend,” Walters said.

Republican House Majority Leader Nate Gentry did not immediately return a phone message on if he planned to attend.

Richard Berry, Albuquerque’s Republican mayor who was twice elected with sizable Hispanic support, has not been contacted about attending the Trump rally, according to spokeswoman Rhiannon Samuel.


Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at https://twitter.com/russcontreras . His work can be found at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/russell-contreras.

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