Top 10 Xenophobic Moments from New Mexico’s right-wing leaders

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It seems like conservatives always need to wage a war on someone somewhere. Whether that’s their longstanding war on women or their new war on refugee children – they just can’t seem to help themselves.

Credit Steve Pearce’s latest immigration gaffes for getting us thinking about  what our local GOP has done in their war on immigrants in the past few years, and we found some obscene things. We compiled the top 10 xenophobic moments from New Mexico’s right-wing. What is it with the GOP and their hate of immigrants?   In no particular order, check out our list – then share your favorites online:


# 1

“Perhaps no one on the political scene has more of a stake in the deportation of illegal immigrants than Allen Weh.”  As the owner of CSI Aviation, Weh is paid about $700 per “removal” for each refugee and detained immigrant he flies away from American soil.

No surprise Weh endorsed “the idea” behind Arizona’s SB1070 which allowed Arizona cops to stop and check papers of any person they suspected of being undocumented.  As a candidate for governor and now Senator, he says he’s down for increasing border spending (ahem, ‘deportation dollars’)

Notable footnote: The LA Times & ThinkProgress recently reported that a child flown back to Honduras on a deportation flight was killed upon arrival.  See more below about how Weh’s fellow conservatives have been happy to proclaim those neighborhoods safe and continue to call for expedited removal of innocent children to these neighborhoods.

Allen Weh - journal



Gov. Susana Martinez says the refugees without access to legal advice and who do not speak any English are absolutely given due process before they’re deported back to their gang war-plagued countries.


Susana Martinez


New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says immigrants at a temporary detention center in the state have been given full due process.

Martinez said Tuesday at an event in Bernalillo that immigrant women and children held at an Artesia center have been allowed a fair chance to argue their case in court.

A new New York Times story basically says the Gov is all wrong.

Homeland Security Department figures show that migrants in Artesia have been denied asylum at a much higher rate than others. As of October, asylum officers were finding migrants’ fears credible in 80 percent of cases, allowing them to go on to battle for asylum through the courts.


In Artesia, officers have found migrants credible in 38 percent of cases.



Congressman Steve Pearce voted to tear up residency cards for DREAMers (children brought here by their parents).

But when a DREAMer confronted him and offered up her card to tear up, he just ran away.  Watch the video. It’s worth it.



# 4

As a candidate for governor, Susana Martinez claimed to have prosecuted violent Juarez drug cartels – she even made a commercial about it.

But as soon as the commercial went up, the facts came out.  From the El Paso Times:

Most of these drug cases did not involve cartels, and the amounts of narcotics could have been relatively small. High-profile drug cases typically are prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s staff in federal court…  Although [Sheriff’s Sergeant and federal Drug Task Force member] Holden said significant seizures have been made in recent years, he could not name a high-profile arrest or conviction of a drug cartel member during Martinez’s tenure as district attorney.



Dianna Duran sends thousands of names of registered voters to state police to have them investigated as illegal. They weren’t.

Dianna Duran

From the Las Cruces Sun-News in 2011:

In March, as the House Voters and Elections Committee was in heated debate over a bill that would have denied driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, Duran testified to evidence she uncovered linking foreign nationals with state driver’s licenses to the voter rolls.

By June, the investigation into 37 questionable registrations had mushroomed to 64,000. Duran said at the time that her staff had flagged tens of thousands of voter records that needed “further review” by criminal investigators.

Now its about cleaning up the election rolls? And the State Police are the only ones who can do it?

If I were cynical, I’d suggest that with the investigation several weeks old, Duran now realizes there will be no voter fraud uncovered, and is walking back her original allegations.

# 6 

Steve Pearce said it was perfectly OK for the US to deport refugee children back to dangerous neighborhoods in Central America. He knows: he just went there and was too scared to leave his own hotel!

Even Steven Colbert from Comedy Central called him out on it!

Steve Pearce on Steven Colbert


Steve Pearce accidentally tells the truth about immigration:
Pearce says Central American hotels were too dangerous for him to leave over the weekend, but he wants to return refugee children there ASAP. Read More.


# 7


Rep. Paul Pacheco introduced his anti-immigrant bill to repeal the issuance of drivers’ licenses to documented residents by claiming, “this is not an anti-immigrant bill.”  (For Political Science 101 students, the surest way to tell what a bill actually is comes when the sponsor starts by defining what it is not.)

It reminded us of Richard Nixon’s infamous quote “I am not a crook.”

Paul Pacheco


This is not an anti-immigrant bill. This bill is a public safety bill,” said Pacheco, who said the legislation is bill is necessary in order to get New Mexico in compliance with the federal government’s REAL ID Act.

 “I’m hoping this issue will be resolved.  In the event that the governor’s bill that Representative Pacheco is carrying doesn’t move forward, we’re trying to come forward with what we believe will be a compromise, but that remains to be seen.”

# 8

As one of her first official acts, Susana Martinez’s Secretary of Tax & Rev. Demesia Padilla, sent notices to 10,000 “random” foreign nationals in New Mexico demanding they drive to Albuquerque to prove their residency.

She neglected to tell them that the main route to Albuquerque from Southern New Mexico residents included a Border Patrol checkpoint where they would likely have to show their non-resident ID.


Secretaria del Departamento de Impuestos de Nuevo México, Demesia Padilla (izq.),sobre las licencias de conducir fraudulentas. Foto: AP

Beginning today, MVD will be sending letters to a random sample of 10,000 foreign nationals who have obtained New Mexico driver’s licenses. Each individual who receives the letter will have 30 days in which to contact MVD to schedule an in-person appointment to verify their residency in New Mexico.


# 9

When questioned about immigration during a 2012 campaign forum, Rep. Nate Gentry implied that immigrants seek New Mexico residency only to establish bases for drug and arms smuggling from Mexico.

Maybe Gentry knows. He’s had personal experience with the Mexican drug trade.  He was detained there for drug possession before he ran for office.

Nate Gentry


Last but not least and maybe the most disturbing words out of Representative Gentry are close to the end of the video (7:45) when a constituent asks Nate about drug trafficking and arms smuggling from our southern border.

Nate clearly states that illegal immigrants are to blame for arms smuggling, drug smuggling, human trafficking, all because of the illegal immigrant driver’s license issue.

A fellow constituent in the back of the room challenges Nate’s assertion that because of being an illegal he would draw to the conclusion that our undocumented license issue can be tied to such extreme assertions. The constituent says Nate’s statements are racist and very negative to tie your average illegals that are here which are working class, middle class poor, to this drug/arms smuggling question. Of course Nate Gentry the Representative of this man bullies up and talks over him with a non-argument – “So you are saying no drugs come in from Mexico?”


# 10

Following in the steps of her cohort Jan Brewer, one of Gov. Susana Martinez’s  first executive orders directed state police to stop and check papers of anyone they believed could be undocumented.

Susana Martinez FAIL


This executive order invites racial profiling by giving an incentive to police to arrest people who look and sound “foreign.” New Mexicans should not have to fear that a broken taillight or other pretextual stop will lead to their arrest because of the color of their skin. Gov.Martinez has created a SB 1070-like policy, contradicting her own commitment to keep our state from following in Arizona’s footsteps.”



We wish we were shocked by this list, but this is just the norm for the NM GOP. Share this list with your friends, and remind them why it’s important to vote.