Members of Albuquerque’s immigrant community and representative organizations, including the New Mexico Asian Family Center, spoke out against Thursday’s Supreme Court deadlock, which they say affects about 36,000 families.
During a spirited news conference hosted by El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, or The Center for Equality and Rights, the same messages were delivered repeatedly: criticism of Republican senators’ refusal to allow a vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court; that politicians who fought against immigration reform will hear from the Hispanic community in November; that the Thursday decision will be overcome; and that immigrants are here and they intend to stay.
Bertha Campos, a mother and owner of a business, said Thursday’s news is “only another demonstration of the anti-immigrant politics that continue to surge in our country.”
State Rep. Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, said the decision was “an indication of a broken Washington” and “Republican obstructionism in Congress.”
Andrea Plaza, executive director of Encuentro, which works with immigrants on education, language and workforce skills, said the deadlock will have a big economic impact on the state, where immigrants are twice as likely as U.S.-born citizens to start businesses.
Reaction from NM leaders
“I am extremely disappointed that because Senate Republicans have obstructed the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice, our nation’s highest court is hobbled and unable to function properly. … Today, the deadlocked court was only able to issue a one-sentence 4-4 decision on an issue of great significance to our nation, keeping millions of people in ongoing legal purgatory.”
— U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
“Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld that President Obama’s action on immigration was against the law. It is truly unfortunate the president would rather act alone, without authority, than to work with Congress to find common sense solutions to our broken immigration system that we can all agree upon. His actions now call into question the safety, security, and well-being of almost 700,000 people that believed the president’s smoke and mirrors executive action.”
— U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M.
“The deadlocked Supreme Court position is very concerning since it means that families will continue to be torn apart by our broken immigration system and millions will have to continue living in the shadows. It is clear that Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
— U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.
“As the governor said before, the president never had the authority to issue this type of executive action. Rather than deliver on his promise to work in a bipartisan way and pass comprehensive immigration reform his first year, when he had complete control of Congress, the president did nothing for years and then tried waving around a magic pen to give de facto citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.”
— Michael Lonergan,
spokesman for Republican Gov. Susana Martinez