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Statement from Office of Equity and Inclusion & Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Regarding Recent Surge in ICE arrests in Albuquerque

We have received reports over the past week indicating a ten-fold increase in the number of individuals arrested and detained in Albuquerque by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agents. During these arrests, witnesses have photographed ICE agents wearing vests that say “Police.” They are not Albuquerque police officers.

We denounce any attempts to create panic and confusion among the people living in Albuquerque. Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque Police Department have worked hard to gain the trust, respect and cooperation of all our city’s residents to address our community’s crime problem. We want immigrants to feel safe when they need to call police for help. Use of “Police” uniforms is misleading and undermines the trust that the Albuquerque Police Department has worked so hard to build.  Albuquerque is an Immigrant Friendly City.

We want to reassure residents that:

  • The Albuquerque Police Department and other City of Albuquerque employees are prohibited by law from collecting or sharing citizenship or immigration status, unless required by law to determine eligibility for a state or federal program;
  •  City employees are prohibited from using City resources to facilitate the investigation, detection, apprehension or detention of individuals based on immigration status;
  • Federal immigration agents are not allowed access to non-public areas on City property without a judicial warrant.

We believe that people should feel safe calling the police, taking their children to school and to health care appointments, and participating in the civic life of their chosen community. Albuquerque has a long and proud history of standing with immigrants and safeguarding the civil rights of all our residents, and we will continue to do so regardless of the scare tactics that the federal administration has chosen to use.

Thank you to the many community groups who are working to assist the individuals and families who have been detained by ICE.

If you have been impacted or know someone that has been impacted please visit our website: https://www.cabq.gov/office-of-equity-inclusion/immigrant-refugee-affairs for a list of resources under the Know Your Rights tab, or contact El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos 505-246-1627, New Mexico Immigrant Law Center 505-247-1023, Mexican Consulate505-270-7009, or the New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice 505-226-1642