New Mexico has always had immigrants from Mexico and Central America. The numbers fluctuate with the political circumstances in all countries involved. Today’s Santa Fe New Mexican had an article about a young woman, Anai Hernandez, born in the United States and her immigrant parents, along with an op-ed by her. She is, of course, an American citizen.
For many young Americans, turning 21 is a rite of passage, a chance to finally go to bars and drink legally. But for Anai Hernandez, it will be a joyous moment for another reason. She will be able to ask the federal government to allow her parents to legally stay in the United States after living as undocumented immigrants for nearly two decades.
“I’m really close to my family. I care more about not getting in trouble, knowing my mom and dad are illegal. So I don’t go to parties or drink,” said Hernandez, 20. “For me, turning 21 is more about having a dream come true, being able to help my parents with their papers, a gift for them and thanking them for everything they’ve done.”
Hernandez, whose parents are from the Mexican border town of Nogales, Sonora, was born just minutes away in the American town of Nogales, Ariz., making her a U.S. citizen. When her parents decided to make a permanent move to Taos, there was no recourse for them to become green card holders — at least, not until their daughter turned 21, when she would be old enough to petition immigration officials to allow her parents to become legal permanent residents.
Under the current immigration system, generally, U.S. citizens age 21 or older can sponsor their parents to become green card holders, even if they have been living in the country illegally.
But under legislation President Donald Trump unveiled last week, that avenue would be cut off, creating a sense of urgency for Hernandez, who will turn 21 in December. Even if she turns in her application before Congress votes on the legislation, if the proposal passes and becomes law, her case could still be denied if it is pending when the new rules take effect.
Quite a few New Mexico communities are sanctuary communities.
As the direct attacks from the Trump administration continue to escalate nationwide, San Miguel County has taken a huge step in opposing and sending a clear message that, in New Mexico, we value our immigrant families and we will fight together to protect them.
Recently, the San Miguel County Commission passed a resolution declaring the county a “sanctuary county.” Amid the threats by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to crack down on “sanctuary cities and counties,” Nuevo Mexicanos up north still went ahead and called for the protection of undocumented families and moved to prevent collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration agencies.
Valued commenters earlier today said that there have been no front-page posts on immigration. That is a serious omission; I haven’t checked to make sure it is the case, but I don’t recall any. Immigration really isn’t something I can offer knowledgeable commentary on, and there are plenty of issues on which I can. Maybe one of our lawyers would offer a guest post?
Open thread, also too.