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PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2020 

Democrats reported to be preparing a smaller pandemic relief package; vote-by-mail awaits a court decision in Montana.

2020Talks - September 25, 2020 

Senators respond to President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. And, former military and national security officials endorse Joe Biden.

NM Group: Raids “Handcuff” Police Trust

September 17, 2007

Las Cruces, NM – Living near the border can give residents a "borderline" trust of local police, according to a local civil rights group. Sheriff's deputies in Otero and Doña Ana Counties are now carrying out immigration raids in New Mexico's border towns, a job that used to be done by federal immigration agents. Peter Simonson with the ACLU of New Mexico says when police become border patrol agents, it changes the public's relationship with the local law enforcement.

"It disrupts the ability of those police to provide an atmosphere of trust which allows immigrants to come forward with crimes that they have witnessed, or crimes that they have been a victim of."

Simonson explains methods used by local police during raids also have raisedq uestions. His organization is investigating reports that sheriff's deputies have removed children from local schools and entered homes without permission or warrants.

The raids stem from a federal program called "Operation Stonegarden," for which New Mexico was given more than $1 million to support local law enforcement by participating in immigration-related police activities. Simonson explains that in the bigger immigration picture, raiding neighborhoods and communities doesn't fix the system he believes is broken.

"These are just the same reactionary, decades-old policies that we have been pursuing with no effect or improvement on immigration."

More information on "Operation Stonegarden" can be found on the Web at

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - NM