Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Following President Trump’s inauguration speech– New Mexico-based immigrants’ rights organizations, which comprise “Listo Nuevo México”, are reminding the community that the fight for the safety and wellbeing of our undocumented and refugee communities will continue at the local, state, and national level through the upcoming four years under Trump’s presidency.
For the past year, Trump has outlined his specific intentions to implement a deportation-based regime that further criminalizes the immigrant community, a Muslim registry program and to rescind DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)–a proven successful and life-changing administrative relief program that has protected nearly 800,000 young people from deportation, provided them with the ability to work, and has improved the economic security and health of entire families and communities.
Local organizing and advocacy groups in Albuquerque have continuously been working since the first hours following the election on Nov. 8, 2016 to take steps to resist the expected anti-immigrant policies ahead by pushing for the local government to implement clear policies that will ensure the safety of immigrant and refugee communities in Albuquerque during Trump’s presidency, providing “Know Your Rights” trainings and “Community Gatherings" for community members, and creating a pool of resources that will be available for the protection of the immigrant community– including the recently announced New Mexico Immigration Corps, a four year program aimed at providing “immigrants in New Mexico with legal advice to help protect their civil rights.”
Listo NM and its organizational members vow to continue recognizing the historical contributions of immigrants and refugees who make up the fabric of American society and whose contributions have strengthened our nation nation.
The following are statements from local leaders and members of the Listo NM coalition regarding President Trump’s inauguration speech:
Felipe Rodriguez, Undocumented Albuquerque and Lead Coordinator for the NM Dream Team said, “We need everyone to join us and tap into our community’s resilience to continue with our fight to protect our undocumented and refugee communities! We will continue pushing the City of Albuquerque to publicly come out and outline clear policies to create sanctuary spaces that will ensure the safety and protection of the our communities in our city during Trump’s administration.
“We need to continue building bridges between community organizations and the community in Albuquerque to continue pushing for a welcoming environment in our city for all immigrants and refugees. Our immigrant community is ready to fight back and are all working in unity and collaboration with a single goal in mind which is to protect our families, our loved ones, and to continue thriving in this country that we call home! We are #HereToStay!”
Rachel LaZar, Executive Director for El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos reaffirmed, “Our commitment continues to fight back against senseless deportations, civil rights violations, and the exploitation of workers during the Trump administration. We will use every tool at our disposal to fight back. We will organize to pass and strengthen local immigrant friendly policies, use strategic litigation, and ramp up our organizing efforts to fight back against Trump’s deportation machine and agenda of hate.
“Our commitment will continue providing the essential trainings that will ensure our readiness to fight deportation in their respective localities against deportations and attempts of civil rights violations.”
Adriel Orozco, Attorney for the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center also expressed, “Trump’s presidency marks a new era in the fight for justice, dignity and respect for immigrant and refugee communities. DACA has helped more than 10,000 New Mexicans gain access to the formal economy and bring peace of mind to them and their families. The rescission of DACA is not only morally wrong, it hurts us economically as our poor state will lose an estimated $375 million in annual GDP.
To help combat the further criminalization of immigrant communities, we are excited that we will be launching a new initiative, the New Mexico Immigration Corps, that will provide increased access to legal resources for the immigrant community, which will be implemented throughout the next four years.”
Andrea Plaza, Encuentro’s Executive Director also mentioned, “Time and time again, the immigrant and refugee community have shown that they are a vital part for our country’s economy and fabric through their contributions in the workforce. President Trump continues to fail to acknowledge this.
“Here at Encuentro, we are committed to teaching, transforming, and empowering immigrants so that we can continue to be a vital part of the workforce and economy at a local level and at a national level.”
Listo NM is calling on all community members to organize in their hometowns and learn how to protect each other from deportation. The easiest way to plug in is to text LISTO (for Spanish) or READY (for English) to (505) 465-4994 or by signing up to Listo’s email alert system at: listonm-progressnownm.nationbuilder.com.
Listo NM, is an Albuquerque-based collaborative of nonprofit organizations– including El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Dream Team (NMDT), Encuentro, and the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC)– focused on supporting immigrant integration statewide and related support programs, services and advocacy, ensuring low-income immigrants have access to social and legal services for Immigration and Administrative Relief, to foster leadership development and to promote economic and civic engagement in immigrant communities.