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Bill would make New Mexico a ‘sanctuary state’: NM Legislature news

Crews worked last year to replace a piece of a bollard fence in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The section is part of a 20-mile stretch of fence at the U.S.-Mexico border.

(Photo: RUBEN R. RAMIREZ/EL PASO TIMES)

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico bill could turn the state with the nation’s largest percentage of Hispanic residents into a "sanctuary state."

Identical Democratic proposals in the New Mexico House and Senate would prevent state agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. It also limits the authority of sheriffs and jails to hold federal immigrant detainees.

More: More than 200 migrants detained by Border Patrol in desolate NM border

More: New migrant caravan from Honduras makes way toward Mexico

The bill comes after Democrats recently extended their majority in the state House and after Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took office.

The proposal also comes as a number of New Mexico cities and towns have declared themselves "sanctuaries" for immigrants living in the country illegally.

Activists have pressed cities and towns for the declaration amid President Donald Trump’s call to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and other immigration enforcement proposals.

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