Commentary: On Monday, January 28th, hundreds of workers, immigrant families and their allies from across New Mexico will gather in Santa Fe, NM for Immigrant & Workers' Day of Action 2019. NM Comunidades en Acción y De Fe (CAFe) will join partner organizations like Somos Un Pueblo Unido, the ACLU-NM, and the NM Dream Team at the state capital for a day of marching and legislative visits.
Johana Bencomo, Director or Organizing for NM CAFe, says “we are so excited to be taking this many CAFe leaders to Santa Fe on such an important day. For Southern New Mexicans, having access to their state government during a legislative session is close to impossible, the trip is costly and border patrol checkpoints are two big barriers for many of our families. We see it as our responsibility to ensure that those who can go make their stories heard on the steps of our state capitol.”
The community organizing group will be taking almost 60 community leaders; many of them have never been to Santa Fe before, there will be farmworkers, clergy, Dreamers, students, and young people who are going as representatives for their parents who are undocumented. One of them is Daniela, a Gadsden High School Senior, from Vado, NM. She says, “both of my parents are undocumented. They are the most hard working people I know and have given me and my older brothers, who are both in college, a great life filled with opportunity. They are as American as I am, so I want to make sure our voices are represented in Santa Fe. I am going so that I can fight to protect thousands of immigrant families just like mine.”
NM CAFe leaders will be lobbying for several legislative proposals around immigration, including a bill that would make New Mexico a sanctuary state by prohibiting state and local agencies from enforcing federal immigration law as well as a bill calling for a halt to the expansion as well as independent oversight of immigration detention centers in the state. The group will also be lobbying for workers rights legislation like the long overdue increase in the statewide minimum wage and a call for a workforce development plan prioritizing New Mexican workers in the new clean energy economy.
NM CAFe Leaders will leave Las Cruces the morning of the 28th and return that same night. Hundreds of leaders from across the state will participate in a March, a rally at the Roundhouse, and a series of legislative visits with various members of the state legislature.