Albuquerque, Santa Fe officials react to Homeland Security immigration guidelines

NM flag in heavy wind
NM flag in heavy wind

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  After the Department of Homeland Security officially laid out the Trump administration’s new immigration guidelines, cities across the United States are trying to decide if they’re willing to play ball and what it means if they don’t.

That includes two of the biggest cities in New Mexico, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

“Right now, there are probably more questions than answers certainly,” said Gilbert Montaño, Mayor Richard J. Berry’s Chief of Staff.

Montaño is talking about the new immigration guidelines, recently released by the Department of Homeland Security.

“Right now we’re taking our time, we’re being calculated, we’re being methodical and really trying to understand what the 14 page memo entails,” said Montaño.

In that memo, it lays out guidelines to implement President Trump’s executive orders for border security and immigration enforcement.

The guidelines include the immediate return of immigrants captured at the border, hiring thousands of additional enforcement agents, and even the idea of securing the help of local law enforcement.

“What we can say is APD currently has its plate full,” said Montaño.

Santa Fe’s Mayor, Javier Gonzales, gave an even more definitive answer.

“What he’s asking us to do and what we will not do is use local law enforcement resources voluntarily to go and pursue families that are undocumented or targeted by Homeland Security,” said Mayor Gonzales.

Mayor Gonzales even made it clear, he doesn’t agree with the memo in its entirety.

“I think it’s unfortunate that he’s going down this path and I’m hopeful that there will be some resolution before too many families are hurt by it,” said Mayor Gonzales.

KRQE News 13 also asked if the city of Albuquerque and the City of Santa Fe are worried not following the memo could come with backlash, like the loss of federal funds.

“We simply don’t know,” said Montaño. “The first read of it did not seem to entail that.”

“We don’t believe that the president has any standing to quite honestly act like a bully, to threaten the loss of federal funds,” said Mayor Gonzales.

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