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Statement from City Councilors Pat Davis & Klarissa Peña on USDOJ’s threat to withhold anti-violence funding from Albuquerque

The US Department of Justice has announced plans to prevent the City of Albuquerque from accessing anti-violence funding unless the city repeals our immigrant-friendly ordinance. 

Councilor Pat Davis: Here we go again. It’s shameful and transparent that Attorney General Barr and the US Attorney’s Office are telling our city, “we have money to help you, but I would like you to do us a favor, though.”

The mission of the DOJ includes violence prevention without conditions and we welcome their help, but our law guaranteeing access for families to after-school programs or attendance at a City Council meeting without fear would not prevent the USAO from prosecuting gun violence offenders in our city.

Our city will not be held hostage by political stunts and we will not repeal our laws.

Councilor Klarissa Peña: As stated in Resolution 18-07 passed by City Council and signed by the Mayor in May 2018, I uphold the City of Albuquerque right to create a safe city for all its residents and reaffirm our commitment to civil rights regardless of immigration status.

Attorney General Barr’s attempt to strong arm cities and states to give up our rights to set policy and regulations flies in the face of the intent of the tenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution which entrusts police power to the states and their political subdivisions, i.e. municipalities. It does not require states and municipalities to assist federal authorities in implementing and enforcing immigration law.

Background: In 2018, Councilors Pat Davis and Klarissa Peña introduced legislation reaffirming the city’s 2000 legislation declaring the city an immigrant-friendly community and enhancing protections for individual privacy for residents of all types engaging with their city. It passed the Council and was signed into law by Mayor Keller.