Bernalillo County will remain an immigrant friendly community after all, with the commission majority refusing to alter its policy despite a renewed threat by the U.S. Justice Department to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities.
Commissioner Wayne Johnson had asked his colleagues to rescind a resolution approved in March that declared Bernalillo County an immigrant-friendly community. His proposal would also have required the county to give the Department of Justice access to county-operated detention facilities.
But commissioners overwhelmingly rejected the proposal Tuesday night. Johnson, a Republican who is running for mayor of Albuquerque, was the only commissioner to vote in favor. Commission chairwoman Debbie O’Malley and Commissioners Steven Michael Quezada and Maggie Hart Stebbins, all Democrats, and Republican Lonnie Talbert voted against the measure.
The immigrant friendly resolution that Johnson tried to rescind is largely symbolic, although it does prohibit the use of county money or personnel to ascertain anyone’s immigration status or to apprehend individuals based on their immigration status, unless required to do so by law.