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Pollster: NM a ‘welcoming community’ for immigrants

SANTA FE — New Mexico’s registered voters have a welcoming attitude toward immigrants and support a variety of immigrant-friendly policies, according to a poll released Monday by Somos Acción and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico.

The telephone and online survey was conducted by Gabriel Sanchez, a pollster for Latino Decisions and a professor at the University of New Mexico.

Among the findings, he said, are that 57 percent of registered voters say lawmakers should prohibit New Mexico government agencies from using state and local government resources to enforce federal immigration law and leave that work instead to federal authorities.

The groups that released the poll support similar legislation that’s moving forward in the state Senate. Senate Bill 196, sponsored by five Democratic lawmakers, would bar public agencies in New Mexico from spending money or using other resources to enforce federal immigration laws.

Sanchez said the poll included a sample of 732 registered voters who were interviewed from Jan. 3-16, he said. The margin of error is 3.7 percentage points.

The poll asked whether the voter believed the state should pass “a law that would prohibit New Mexico government agencies from using state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law and instead leave all immigration matters to the federal immigration authorities.”

The poll also found that voters agree that “long-time immigrant residents of New Mexico” should be able to have access to courthouses, legal services, and police and fire services.

“New Mexicans are a welcoming community,” Sanchez said.

Somos Acción is a sister organization of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant and workers’ rights group.

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