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Immigrant Group Pressures Sheriff On Policy

LAS CRUCES — A southern New Mexico immigrant advocacy group wants the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department to stop asking for immigration status during traffic stops.

The Taskforce for Immigrant Advocacy and Services says it’s taking its plea for the change to the county commission Tuesday.

Members of the task force tell the Las Cruces Sun-News they’ve fielded complaints from residents in Hatch, Chaparral, Anthony and Las Cruces that county deputies often ask individuals about their immigration status during the course of a routine encounter or traffic stop.

The task force says it causes migrants not to trust local law enforcement, even when they’re victims or witnesses to a crime.

Sheriff Todd Garrison says the department doesn’t ask people their immigration status during traffic stops. The sheriff did say they ask people to clarify who they are when they can’t find their records.