Senators: ICE using misleading tactics on state immigrant groups - Albuquerque Journal

Senators: ICE using misleading tactics on state immigrant groups

New Mexico’s U.S. senators Tom Udall, left, and Martin Heinrich.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich claim U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is using misleading tactics and campaigns against immigrant communities in the state.

The two Democrats sent a letter to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence on Thursday voicing their concerns.

“We have received troubling reports from New Mexican residents that ICE officers are gaining access into homes under false pretenses by using fear and lies,” the senators wrote. “We have also heard disturbing accounts of ICE officers demanding that residents open their doors and/or allow ICE to search their home based on ICE’s administrative, not judicial warrants.”

A spokesman from Heinrich’s office said the reports were primarily from local immigrant advocacy groups, including El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, which held a rally at its office Thursday denouncing the tactics it claimed ICE was using.

The senators said ICE officers are identifying themselves as police and wearing deceptive uniforms to appear as local police when they knock on doors, a behavior they said discourages migrants from calling for help when they are victims of a crime.

“When federal immigration officials misidentify as police, the relationship between the immigrant community and local law enforcement agencies is damaged,” the senators wrote.

Heinrich and Udall said they received reports that ICE is expanding enforcement activities in Albuquerque, targeting immigrant workers and families at home, at work, and after dropping their children off at school, a practice they said ran contrary to established department policy on enforcement at or near certain community locations.

“This is causing residents to no longer feel safe in their own neighborhoods,” they said.

They encouraged Albence to have ICE officials meet with local residents and their offices to discuss a path forward.

“Instead of targeting families, ICE should prioritize its enforcement efforts on actual risks to public safety and national security. We believe a productive discussion between ICE, the New Mexico delegation, and key stakeholders is critical in gaining transparency and restoring trust back into our communities,” the senators wrote.

Efforts to reach local ICE officials were unsuccessful. But in a previous inquiry by the Journal, Albence said in jurisdictions where ICE is not allowed to assume custody of illegal immigrants from jails, “our officers are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Senators: ICE using misleading tactics on state immigrant groups


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Where's the International Folk Art Market moving to? Find ...
ABQnews Seeker
Officials released that the long-standing summer ... Officials released that the long-standing summer market will move from Museum Hill to the Santa Fe Railyard Park in 2023.
2
NMSU to hire outside firm to probe shooting involving ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico State University said Tuesday ... New Mexico State University said Tuesday the school would hire an external, third-party investigator to review the fatal shooting involving an NMSU basketball player ...
3
NM adds anxiety disorder as medical cannabis qualifying condition
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico will add anxiety disorder ... New Mexico will add anxiety disorder as a qualifying condition to participate in its medical cannabis program, after the state's top health official approved ...
4
Services announced for Los Ranchos judge Diane Albert
ABQnews Seeker
Services for Diane Albert, 65, late ... Services for Diane Albert, 65, late municipal judge for the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, ...
5
Missing girl found; man charged with assaulting officer while ...
ABQnews Seeker
A man allegedly lost his temper ... A man allegedly lost his temper and nearly attacked an officer Monday night as Albuquerque police searched the city for his missing five-year-old. The ...
6
Albuquerque City Council approves commission to focus on domestic ...
ABQnews Seeker
In an effort to improve interventions, ... In an effort to improve interventions, services and public understanding, Albuquerque is launching the Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The city council ...
7
Volunteers needed for vital CASA program
ABQnews Seeker
Goal is 'to have 100% case ... Goal is 'to have 100% case coverage,' says executive director of CASA Partners 4NMKids
8
City council says yes to noise cameras
ABQnews Seeker
and listening — too. The city ... and listening — too. The city council on Monday approved a pilot program aimed at detecting loud vehicles through the use of special cameras. ...
9
Local nonprofit Locker#505 helps 116 Albuquerque students shop for ...
ABQnews Seeker
Nonprofit Locker505 provides clothing for more ... Nonprofit Locker505 provides clothing for more than 12,000 students through community donations