U.S. Attorney for New Mexico hires more prosecutors to focus on immigration
February 28, 2019 10:12 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The U.S. Attorney for New Mexico has hired more than 20 prosecutors since being sworn in last year.
Many of the prosecutors were brought on to focus on immigration.
U.S. Attorney John Anderson said things have changed at the border in the past decade.
“What we were seeing at the border was adult, working-age people, who were crossing the border largely to find work to send money and largely being Mexican nationals,” Anderson said.
However, 90 percent of those apprehended in the El Paso sector have not been from Mexico this fiscal year, according to Anderson.
Instead, they are coming from other countries, including Honduras and Guatemala.
This week, 67 Ecuadorian and Guatemalans who entered the U.S. illegally were found in a southeastern New Mexico stash house.
“Those are tragic circumstances and they are emblematic of the humanitarian aspect of the crisis that we see at the border,” Anderson said.
Anderson said the incident emphasizes the need for more border security.
“The human cost is measured in lives,” Anderson said.
Anderson believes his department's responsibility begins and ends with criminal justice.
“Many of them that we're seeing there are coming in as family units,” Anderson said. “You know, we're not prosecuting family units at this point. I do think that's a process that's subject to abuse frankly.”
Anderson said he understands there are different opinions on border security, but he adds that his department will work very closely with state and local counterparts to bring a comprehensive solution to reduce crime.
Updated: February 28, 2019 10:12 PM
Created: February 28, 2019 09:06 PM
Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved