January 3, 2020 – Gene Grant and NMiF’s all-journalist Line panel arrive at the year’s biggest story: the ongoing debate over immigration policy and the U.S.-Mexico border. One of the first official acts of incoming Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was to tour counties along the international border and declare the Trump administration’s tactics tantamount to “fear mongering.” The governor withdrew National Guard troops from their mission at the border, saying there was no evidence of a national security crisis. The state set a spark to the debate at the state level, creating an outcry from conservatives who argued the move made it easier for drug and human smugglers to move into and through New Mexico with impunity. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis tied to Latin American migration impacted much of the state as cities, counties and the state government debated their responsibility to both taxpayers and those seeking asylum in the United States. Local and state lawmakers debated conditions at detention centers, with some asylees being held outdoors and children being separated from their relatives, and in some cases, dying in U.S. custody.
Gwyneth Doland, adjunct professor, UNM Communication & Journalism Dept.
Andy Lyman, reporter, New Mexico Political Report
Jessica Onsurez, news director, Carlsbad Current Argus
Steve Terrell, retired reporter, Santa Fe New Mexican
For More Information:
Governor Pulls National Guard – NPR
Monitoring Conditions at ICE Detention Centers – Border Report
Otero County Declares State of Emergency – Alamogordo Daily News