The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico on Tuesday sent letters to 10 municipalities around the state asking them to repeal ordinances that restrict begging in their communities.
The ACLU and other organizations across the nation sent letters demanding the repeal of 240 such ordinances around the country in a concerted effort, said Leon Howard, the legal director for the ACLU in the state.
The ordinances the ACLU is targeting in New Mexico vary in scope. In Santa Fe, people are prohibited from begging from people who are eating at a sidewalk cafe. In Española, multiple people can’t beg together, and in Artesia, people need to get a permit approved by a city or police official before panhandling, said María Martinez Sanchez, a staff attorney with the ACLU.