New Mexico Comunidades en Acción y de Fé, known as CAFÉ, staged a well organized and peaceful demonstration in Las Cruces Thursday, blocking entrances to the regional Border Patrol headquarters for about an hour and gaining national attention about the targeting of immigrants in border communities and around the country.
Congressman Steve Pearce came back to his district (CD2) for a town hall event this past Saturday and ProgressNow NM was there and broadcasting LIVE on Facebook because he held it in Ruidoso, a village of 8,000 people two hours away from Las Cruces, the largest city in his district.
Over 200 people arrived at Congressman Steve Pearce’s Las Cruces office on Friday to find that, once again, they were locked out of meeting with his staff. Read more: [Watch] Rep. Steve Pearce (R) office locks constituents out, then sneak out the back door to avoid answering questions on Trump
Local activists associated with the Indivisible movements in Truth or Consequences, Las Cruces, Otero County, Lincoln County, Sierra County, Grant County, and Luna County planned what they called a Mock Town Hall event Friday afternoon. ProgressNow New Mexico staffer Lucas Herndon was on site to bring the event live via Facebook. You can check out footage of the whole event here:
Constituents who arrived to schedule appointments with the Congressman found the door blocked by private security officers. In response, the group chose to organize a protest, eventually lining up again to knock on the door to request meetings.
In a 6-1 vote yesterday, the City of Las Cruces sent a resounding message to President Trump: No border wall in our backyard. Las Cruces is the county seat of Doña Ana County which shares 62 miles of its southern border with Mexico. The treaty which ended hostilities between the two countries in 1848 was signed in Mesilla, the village just west of Las Cruces and at the time, still a part of Mexico. The resolution, introduced by Mayor pro-tem Greg Smith, states among other points, “Whereas, the economic, historic, and cultural connections between our part of the United States and just across the border in Mexico is underscored by the families whose members have been connected across this region for hundreds of years before there was a border between the modern countries of the United States and Mexico.”
The dissenting vote was cast, unsurprisingly, by perennial conservative Ceil Levatino. Levatino didn’t hold back her contempt for those speaking against the wall by making a condescending joke about such a wall “becoming a tourist destination” and by glibly referencing the Bracero program, which drew harsh murmurs from the audience and a slew of angry Twitter comments.
In response to reports of at least two local ICE raids Wednesday morning, Doña Ana County residents rallied at the Federal Courthouse in Las Cruces. Immigration community advocates reported that persons arrested in the raid included at least one person who had no criminal record, contradicting the Trump administration’s ICE reports that they are only focussing on arresting previously convicted felons. Word of the ICE actions spread quickly through the tightly connected progressive community via texts and social media. After a brief rally the Federal Courthouse, participants – including ProgressNowNM’s local manager Lucas Herndon – marched to the city’s busiest intersection at the height of rush hour and shut it down with protests in the streets and supporters chanting on the sidewalks. ICE actions take place in Las Cruces, Chaparral | NM Political Report
BREAKING: Immigration raids in Las Cruces Wednesday morning – KVIA
ProgressNow’s Lucas Herndon provided video of the protest as police arrived.
New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham made the rounds on national TV Monday ahead of a planned meeting to discuss new immigration raids with the acting director of ICE – until he cancelled. KOAT-TV reported this from the Associated Press:
An ICE spokesperson confirmed agents arrested 680 undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Texas and New York. In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the operations have been happening for years, but added that the agency is clear on its mission from President Donald Trump to remove undocumented immigrants who pose a public safety threat. ICE officials said 75 percent of those deported in the past two weeks were criminals. Lujan-Grisham addressed the deportations Monday in an interview with ABC News.
In yesterday’s news, President-elect Donald Trump named alt-right, anti-semite Steve Bannon as his administration’s chief advisor and promised to deport 2-3 million undocumented residents of the United States ASAP. Read more: “Anti-semite gets top post” | Huffington Post
As crazy as that might sound logistically, the legal framework to allow that to happen is already in place in communities around the country and it requires local elected leaders (the exact ones we focus on recruiting and electing at ProgressNowNM) to make a simple but critical change at the local level. That gives us all a chance to #SayNoToTrump in New Mexico. Here’s how. Local cooperation likely key to Trump’s new deportation plan
As VOX points out in a scary new piece this morning, federal law already permits local law enforcement agencies to sign 287(g) agreements (named after the section of federal law where the authorization is found) that essentially deputized local law enforcement as federal immigration agents.
Steve Pearce has said some crazy things in his term as New Mexico’s hardline conservative member of Congress, but today’s announcement may be his craziest yet. Pearce told the Associated Press today that he’d back Donald Trump for president if Trump can win the nomination. Don’t believe us? Read the story here. That announcement got us to thinking: is there really any difference between Trump and Pierce?