Proposal Could Make New Mexico A 'Sanctuary State', Jobless Rate Up A Little Since Previous Month

Jan 19, 2019

Proposal Could Make New Mexico A 'Sanctuary State'– Associated Press

A New Mexico bill could turn the state with the nation's largest percentage of Hispanic residents into a "sanctuary state."

Identical Democratic proposals in the New Mexico House and Senate would prevent state agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities and limit the authority of sheriffs and jails to hold federal immigrant detainees.

The bill comes after Democrats recently extended their majority in the state House and after Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took office.

The proposal also comes as a number of New Mexico cities and towns have declared themselves "sanctuaries" for immigrants living in the country illegally.

Activists have pressed cities and towns for the declaration amid uncertainty President Donald Trump's call to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and other immigration enforcement proposals.

New Mexico Jobless Rate Up A Little Since Previous Month– Associated Press

New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up slightly from the previous month's rate but significantly below that of a year earlier.

The Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the rate was 4.7 percent in December, up from 4.6 percent in November but down from 6 percent in December 2017.

The department's report issued Friday says the total nonagricultural payroll employment of 861,300 was up by 400 jobs since November and up by 20,400 jobs since December 2017.

Most of the year-over-year increase in jobs was in the private sector as seven private supersector-level industries added jobs, one lost jobs, and one reported no change from its December 2017 employment level.

State Police: Hundreds Of Pounds Of Pot Seized In Gallup– Associated Press

State authorities say they seized nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in two days at a western New Mexico stop.

New Mexico State Police said Friday that the drugs were seized along Interstate 40, starting Tuesday when 391 pounds of pot was found at the Gallup port of entry.

Almost as much was seized at the same location a day later when in a commercial vehicle.

Police say two men from Illinois were arrested in the second drug bust, and close to 200 pounds of paraphernalia were found.

New Mexico Opens Museums To Furloughed Federal Workers– Associated Press

New Mexico is offering furloughed federal employees and their families free admission to state-run museums and historic sites.

Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego announced the policy on Friday in a news release. Museum admission ordinarily costs as much $12 a person for visitors from out of state.

The policy applies to world-renowned art collections in Santa Fe at the Museum of International Folk Art, major attractions such as the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque and Wild West historic sites sprinkled across the state.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has pledged state support to federal workers furloughed in the budget standoff between President Trump and Congress over whether to extend a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Victim Of New Mexico Avalanche Has Died– Associated Press

A hospital official says one of the people pulled from the snow after an avalanche at a ski resort in New Mexico has died.

CEO Bill Patten of Holy Cross Medical Center in Taos says the 22-year-old man had been brought to the hospital.

Patten said he couldn't provide the man's name or specifics involving his injuries.

University of New Mexico Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Foster in Albuquerque said Friday that another avalanche victim remained in critical condition. She said she couldn't release any additional information.

The avalanche crashed down a mountainside Thursday at Taos Ski Valley, 124 miles northeast of Albuquerque.

New Mexico Man Kills Son, 3, Then Himself– Associated Press

Authorities say a New Mexico man fatally shot his 3-year-old son at his home north of Santa Fe before killing himself.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office says deputies found the bodies of Ryan T. Propes and his son at his home outside Tesuque on Thursday. The small community is about 6 miles north of Santa Fe.

The deputies had been performing a welfare check on Propes' home because they said someone had reported receiving a suicidal email from him.

The sheriff's office says a family pet also was found dead at the home.

Another Migrant Group Smuggled To New Mexico– Associated Press

U.S. authorities say 115 migrants smuggled to a border crossing in New Mexico are the second large group of Central Americans encountered by agents at the remote port of entry in as many days.

The U.S. Border Patrol said in a statement Friday that the latest group of migrants arrived at Antelope Wells on Thursday and were mostly families and unaccompanied children. Fifteen families requested medical attention soon after being taken into custody.

On Wednesday, nearly 250 immigrants were taken into custody at the same crossing after turning themselves in to authorities.

In December, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal and her father were among 160 migrants picked up by agents in the same stretch of desert. She became ill on a bus ride to the nearest Border Patrol station and died at a Texas hospital.