The first of its kind, the southwestern state is calling for the U.S. to take more responsibility for migrants admitted into the country, rather than abandoning them in the border cities and states after processing paperwork.
Originally, migrants who have been arrested or who are requesting asylum were transported to their final destination on the federal dollar. However this practice was shelved in 2008 with the increased flow of Central Americans and others attempting to migrate into the U.S. Now, refugees are left to fend for themselves in the cities along the U.S.-Mexican border.
The demand is part of “an effort to stop the Trump government's indiscriminate practice of freeing migrants in communities in the border area of the state in violation of the federal government's 'safe-release' policy, leaving people and vulnerable families without assistance and overwhelming both local governments and non-profit organizations,” the statement read.
The city of Albuquerque spends US$250,000 weekly in humanitarian work to support the influx of 150 to 200 immigrants. Statewide, around US$750,000 reserved for emergency funds has been distributed to local governments to compensate for changing asylum policies.
New Mexico’s Democratic governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham said, "The Trump administration has consistently and flagrantly failed in its response to the current humanitarian crisis on our southern border, as well as addressing the legitimate concerns of border security.
"Long-term remedies are needed, the objective of this legal action is to protect in equal measure the New Mexicans and local governments in the south of our state, as well as the individuals who seek asylum and who have been treated with negligence by the decisions of Washington,” she said.