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Civil rights groups: NM poll shows support for immigrant causes

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A majority of New Mexico’s registered voters have indicated their support for providing social services and equal access to judicial systems to immigrants and providing a path of citizenship to those who have established roots in the state, a recent poll has indicated.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and Somos Accion released the findings of the Latino Decisions telephone poll Monday.

The results of the questions to 732 registered voters contacted in January indicate that 81 percent of respondents favor the creation of a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who have established roots in New Mexico. Eighty-seven percent said that long-time immigrants should have full access to police and emergency services, and 63 percent said that they should have access to and equal treatment from U.S. courts, without being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Most, 57 percent, said that New Mexico should not use state resources to enforce federal immigration laws, instead leaving that to federal authorities, and 70 percent would support state legislation to prohibit releasing personal information, except as required by court orders or official legal actions.

“The poll results are not surprising,” said Gabriel Sanchez, pollster with Latino Decisions and professor at the University of New Mexico. “Like other polls, they reveal strong and consistent support among a majority of registered voters of New Mexico for rational and humane approaches to immigration policy, across many demographics, largely because many of them have a personal connection to the undocumented segment of the community.”

In its press release, the ACLU and Somos Accion said that the poll results are especially timely given that the New Mexico Legislature is considering several bills addressing the role of state and local government in immigration enforcement.

More information about the poll results is available from the ACLU New Mexico, 505-266-5195, or Somos Accion, 505-307-5034.