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Proposal could make New Mexico a 'sanctuary state'

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By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press

SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico, the state with the largest percentage of Hispanic residents in the nation, could be the latest to adopt sanctuary status regarding immigrants, under a Democratic plan.

Identical Democratic proposals introduced in the New Mexico House and Senate say state agencies would be barred from cooperating with federal immigration authorities seeking to hold or deport immigrants suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

The authority of sheriffs and jails to hold federal immigrant detainees also would see new limits.

In addition, state agencies couldn't use public funds to help federal authorities in "detecting, apprehending, arresting, detaining or prolonging the detention of a person" facing possible deportation.

The bills, co-sponsored by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D-Albuquerque, Sen. Richard Martinez, D-Espanola, and Sen. Linda M. Lopez, D-Albuquerque, were proposed after intense pressure from immigrant advocacy groups.

A number of New Mexico cities and towns have declared themselves sanctuaries. Activists have pressed communities nationwide for the declaration amid immigration enforcement proposals by President Trump.


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