New Mexico bill aims to limit immigration detention centers | KOB 4

New Mexico bill aims to limit immigration detention centers

The Associated Press, Kai Porter
March 05, 2019 06:44 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A new proposal would restrict federal contracts for immigration detention centers in New Mexico and could make the state a "sanctuary state."


Democratic state Reps. Angelica Rubio and Antonio "Moe" Maestas are pushing a bill that limits the use of state and local resources for civil immigration custody or detention purposes.

"This bill allows for the state of New Mexico to be able to provide some accountability and some oversight when it comes to the issue of immigration detention facilities," Rubio said. 

Under the proposal, state law enforcement agencies won't be able to sign new federal contracts or renew current ones around civil immigration custody unless there have been two public meetings.

The bill would allow the Secretary of Corrections to conduct announced and unannounced inspections of immigrant detention facilities, like private prisons currently housing migrants. 

"These are institutions that are essentially profiting off of people and their bodies and all for issues that we should be legislating and trying to solve," Rubio said. "I think that by allowing these institutions to continue here in the state of New Mexico without any transparency or oversight is really a disservice to taxpayers."

Legislative analysts say the bill potentially could make New Mexico a sanctuary state in the view of the federal government and cost the state millions of dollars in federal grants.

With less than two weeks in the legislature, time is running out to get the bill passed. It's still in the House Committee.


The Associated Press, Kai Porter

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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