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ICYMI: NM Governor Martinez Pushes Immigration Crackdown Despite Family's Undocumented Past

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Frank Sharry: “It’s a Good Thing She Wasn’t Governor During Her Grandfather’s Day”

Already facing protests against her attempted crackdown on undocumented workers, Governor Susana Martinez (R-NM) faces new scrutiny with the revelation that her grandfather was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.  

Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Wait a minute, Governor Martinez’ grandfather was undocumented, and now she’s leading a crackdown against undocumented workers in New Mexico?  It’s a good thing she wasn’t governor during her grandfather’s day.”

As Lisa Y. Ramos, a professor of history at Texas A&M University told the Associated Press, most multigenerational Mexican-Americans have “at least one family member with an undocumented past…She wouldn’t be there if her grandfather, who was undocumented, hadn’t come.”  Of course, most multigenerational Mexican-Americans are not elected officeholders who are now pushing politically-motivated immigration crackdowns.

In an upcoming special session of the state legislature, Governor Martinez wants to repeal a long-standing state policy that issues driver’s licenses to New Mexico residents regardless of immigration status.  She ran for election as a hard-liner on illegal immigration and has been touted by some in the GOP as an attractive Vice Presidential candidate in 2012 because of her Latina background.  But according to election eve polling of Hispanic voters in New Mexico by Latino Decisions, Martinez lost the Latino vote by a 61%-38% margin to Lt. Gov Dianne Denish.  Governor Martinez’ efforts to advance a crackdown on immigrants certainly won’t rally Latino voters to her side.

Added Sharry, “This revelation is yet another example of why the GOP strategy of promoting Latino candidates while maintaining a hard line on immigration just won’t work.  Latino voters care about issue stands more than last names, and bullying folks who look like your grandfather simply will not play well.”

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.