New Mexico law center braces for fallout of Biden’s immigration order

New Mexico law center braces for fallout of Biden’s immigration order

President Biden's controversial executive order regarding immigration hit New Mexico's law centers hard.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – President Biden’s controversial executive order regarding immigration hit New Mexico’s law centers hard. 

“We saw the same action taken by the former President Trump to try and outright ban asylum, and that was shut down in court. And so this was just an unlawful action for him to take,” said Sophia Genovese, managing attorney of New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.  

The order, signed on Tuesday, allows Biden to temporarily shut down the border when the number of crossings reaches 2,500 a day. 

According to Homeland Security, before the order there were on average more than 4,000 border crossings a day.

“That leaves only two lesser forms of protection called withholding of removal and protection under the convention against torture, as their only option. Neither of these options lead to residency, and they are extremely difficult to obtain,” said Genovese. 

Genovese says while there is an appetite for politicians to address the situation, this executive order was misguided. 

“One, it doesn’t reduce the number of people trying to come to the United States. Number two, it brings in more vulnerability and pushes people deeper into the shadows and into the hands of smugglers. That just creates a dangerous situation for everyone. Number three, it is an unlawful action,” Genovese said. 

New Mexico could see the impact as soon as this upcoming week in Estancia. People seeking asylum are processed at the border and taken to the Torrance County Detention Facility.  

“It’s really interesting because in New Mexico we have a front seat immediately to the impacts of border policies, particularly at the Torrance County Facility which is an expedited removal factory,” Genovese said.  

The migrant facility has been hit with many lawsuits over poor conditions for migrants. This past April, advocates put pressure on county commissioners to end their contract with ICE.  

“We are working with so many people who are escaping various countries in central and South America. People are fleeing real violence, and all along the path to the United States they are subjected to even more violence,” said Genovese.  

Representatives from the center are scheduled to visit the Torrance County Facility again this Tuesday to check on the immediate local impact of Biden’s order.