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Libertarian candidate answers questions

SANTA FE – Libertarian Lloyd Princeton couldn’t make it to this week’s Albuquerque Bar Association luncheon for candidates in the 1st Congressional District.

But he did respond in writing to a series of questions from the group.

Immigration was a divisive topic at the forum – with Democrat Deb Haaland advocating for the abolition of the country’s chief immigration enforcement agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Republican Janice Arnold-Jones backing the federal government’s right to restrict funding to “sanctuary cities.”

In written responses, Princeton said he would propose a one-year extension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA – the Obama-era program to temporarily protect young immigrants from deportation – while “we sort out the immigration problems that we face.”

He added: “I believe in generous work visas and an immigration solution that allows for people with a job offer, reasonable health and clear criminal background to place a $2,500 bond while making application for residency or citizenship.”

The U.S. House seat covering Albuquerque is open this year because Democratic incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham is running for governor rather seeking than re-election.

“LUNCH SHAMING”: The debate over “lunch shaming” in public schools is continuing to spread throughout the country.

New Mexico last year became the first state to enact a law prohibiting schools from publicly identifying or stigmatizing students whose parents don’t pay their cafeteria bills.

In other words, the schools have to work with the parents directly to get their money – not hold the kids responsible by throwing out their lunches, making them do chores to work off the debt or otherwise embarrassing them.

Now a bipartisan group in the U.S. House has signed on to a letter by Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue national guidelines to end lunch shaming.

“No children should ever have to go to the school cafeteria and be publicly humiliated because they cannot afford their lunch,” Lujan Grisham said in a written statement.

The New Mexico legislation, called the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act, drew national attention after its passage last year.

Two Democratic state senators from Albuquerque co-sponsored the bill: Michael Padilla and Linda Lopez.

A local nonprofit group, New Mexico Appleseed, pushed for the legislation.

Dan McKay: