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Santa Fe home builders told workplace raids likely

SANTA FE – The latest iteration of Santa Fe’s pro-immigrant reaction to Donald Trump’s presidential election may be “sanctuary job sites.”

Wednesday, the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association held a luncheon meeting on that topic and heard advice from two advocates on what to do if immigration enforcement agents show up at a building site or a business office.

“We really do believe that workplace raids will be a big part of this (Trump’s) administration,” said Marcela Diaz, head of Somos Un Pueblo Unido.

Kim Shanahan, executive officer of the Home Builders Association, is an outspoken supporter of Santa Fe’s sanctuary city policies against helping federal authorities enforce immigration law. He estimated that 80 percent of workers in the local home-building industry are immigrants. Trump has said he wants to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and cut off federal funding for sanctuary cities.

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“Hopefully, common sense will prevail after the inauguration, but local businesses need to be prepared and know their rights no matter what,” Shanahan said in an announcement for Wednesday’s gathering, which was attended by about 25 people.

Attorney Allegra Love, director of the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, told the builders to plan ahead for raids by having a lawyer’s phone number handy and talking to employees ahead of time. For the workers, Love said, “running is never a good idea,” providing grounds for an arrest. She also said, “Never lie to law enforcement,” but added that immigrants and employers have the right to remain silent.

“The one place they feel vulnerable is the workplace,” Diaz said. Love said that while President Barack Obama has been “a paper raider,” using audits to find undocumented immigrants, workplace raids could increase as a way to round up big numbers of people quickly. Diaz said some raids could be made for “propagandistic” purposes.

Immigration attorney Allegra Love addresses a meeting of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association Wednesday. (Mark Oswald/Journal)

Immigration attorney Allegra Love addresses a meeting of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association on Wednesday. (Mark Oswald/Albuquerque Journal)

Wednesday, the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association held a luncheon meeting on that topic and heard advice from two advocates on what to do if immigration enforcement agents show up at a building site or a business office.

“We really do believe that workplace raids will be a big part of this (Trump’s) administration,” said Marcela Diaz, head of Somos Un Pueblo Unido.

Kim Shanahan, executive officer of the Home Builders Association, is an outspoken supporter of Santa Fe’s sanctuary city policies against helping federal authorities enforce immigration law. He estimated that 80 percent of workers in the local home”HopefullyImmigration Love stressed that no one has to allow agents on a premises without a warrant. But “that can be extraordinarily difficult to do – you need practice,” said Love, as officers are adept at talking themselves inside or onto a site. “They rarely show up with warrants,” said Diaz. “They rely on permission.”

Love and Diaz said it can be difficult for immigration agents to find people at home. For undocumented immigrantsLove and Diaz recalled raids in Santa Fe in 2007 that drove immigrants off the streets and away from jobs, schools and stores. Love, then a teacher, said only three of her students at Agua Fria Elementary showed up the week of the raids. A building supplier chimed in that her contractor customers stopped coming in. Diaz said the raids showed that immigration enforcement is an issue for all of Santa Fe, not just immigrants.


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