On December 27, 2018 the Santa Fe New Mexican ran an editorial that directly addressed the immediate and dire need for immigration detention oversight while highlighting the importance of closing ICE detention centers in the state.
Touching directly on issues related to HB624 the Rubio-Maestas Immigration Detention Facilities Act, the editorial continues:
If we do not act, we are complicit. How the United States treats asylum-seekers is a federal issue, but these deaths are happening in New Mexico. It must be our concern.
Last summer, members of the New Mexico Legislature’s Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee heard from people who had been detained by the federal government.
The testimony was troubling, with stories of detainees being denied medications or treatment and handled as dangerous criminals, rather than asylum-seekers fleeing violence and oppression.
Much of what is taking place, of course, is out of a state’s control. Oversight is possible, say some lawmakers, however.
That’s because these federal facilities generally are operated by private companies. New Mexico can regulate private industry.
One idea being discussed would be legislation to limit the deals counties can make with the government and these companies to operate detention facilities.
Many of these facilities are open because of contracts entered into with county government anxious to make money; this is an extremely local issue in which the state as a whole, though, could intervene. For example, California has passed a measure forbidding ICE and for-profit companies to expand or enter into new agreements for detention centers in the state. That’s one possibility here.
HB624 the Rubio-Maestas Immigration Detention Facilities Act replicates the California’s two laws passed in 2017. As the Santa Fe New Mexican points out “these deaths are happening in New Mexico. It must be our concern.” It is time to move towards Dignity Not Detention in New Mexico by passing HB624 the Rubio-Maestas Immigration Detention Facilities Act.
Please sign on in support of HB624 the Rubio-Maestas Immigration Detention Facilities Act.