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Impact In N.M. As Trump Threatens Mass Arrests

Wikimedia Commons via CC

President Donald Trump just launched his re-election campaign, and he also Tweeted that starting next week, there would be mass arrests based on immigration violations. This comes as detention centers around the country are over-capacity and accused of violating basic human rights. Families in New Mexico are feeling the impact of that familiar and uncertain threat.

Though it’s not the first time Trump promised to escalate Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests and deportations, New Mexico advocates say ongoing tensions and fears remain high.

Marcela Diaz, the executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, said the organization’s members have had their workplaces scrutinized, and that makes them nervous about what could come next. "What we assume could happen is that people will start receiving those knocks on the doors at 6 o’clock in the morning," she said. "Because we’ve seen these throughout the country and certainly in New Mexico within the last two years, where they’re at home, ICE shows up with a warrant for their arrest."

It’s vital that people know their rights in these situations and that families have plans in place, Diaz said. Most importantly, people don’t have to open their door—and ICE often doesn’t have a search warrant, she said. Folks can choose to remain silent, Diaz added, and they don’t have to divulge their status.

"We need to stop this attack on our families," she said. "We need to do everything that we can to change this terrible system that we have, as an electorate, as a community, as people who really care."

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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