LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Faith-based non-profit New Mexico Communities in Action and Faith (CAFé), released the following statement by Executive Director Sarah Nolan in response to criticism by Representative Steve Pearce (NM-2) of President Obama’s action to designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
“It is disappointing but not surprising that Representative Pearce has rebuffed the new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. This community discussion has been going on for over a decade. Instead of trying to bring people together, Representative Pearce has spread misinformation and tried to divide the community.”
“Representative Pearce chided the President today for not doing ‘what local people,’ when it is actually Pearce who is doing that. He is steadfastly worked against the Organ Mountains- Desert Peaks National Monument, even though support for the new monument is widespread in our community and includes business owners, elected officials, Native American leaders, Latino organizations, veterans, sportsmen, equestrians, faith leaders, conservationists, ranchers, historians, and more. Polling from this past January showed that 72 percent of Doña Ana County residents support the designation of this monument.”
“Beyond disappointing is that Rep. Pearce and his surrogates continue to falsely claim that the national monument will hinder law enforcement, cause illegal immigration, and threaten our community’s safety. These efforts to scare people about our community’s ‘security’ are divisive and insulting and need to stop.”
“Unfortunately, this is another example of Rep. Pearce being out of step with new opportunities that are good for southern New Mexico, as is the case with his positions on health care, food stamps, equal pay for equal work, and an increase in the minimum wage. Once again, Steve Pearce is out of touch with the needs and wishes of Doña Ana County residents.”
“We hope that Representative Pearce will come to embrace the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument as a tremendous asset for Doña Ana County and New Mexico. This new monument is significant to people across cultures and communities. Protecting these public lands will unite our hopes for the future and strengthen the diverse social fabric of our region.”