July 22, 2020

Udall Statement on White House Announcement of Expansion of Federal Law Enforcement Deployment to N.M.

Udall: New Mexico must be vigilant and will not tolerate misuse of federal law enforcement for political purposes

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) issued the following statement after the Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will deploy additional federal law enforcement to New Mexico.

“Federal law enforcement should not be misused as part of the president’s political agenda, whether in Albuquerque, Portland, or any other U.S. city. Unfortunately, this president has shown himself to be ready and willing to do so, creating an environment where communities reasonably react with fear to announcements like we heard today from the White House.

“Given the well-documented abuses in Portland, and President Trump’s public statements and news reports about expanding such deployments during his reelection campaign, let me be clear: we must and will be vigilant about the expansion of ‘Operation Legend’ to Albuquerque. New Mexico leaders, regardless of party or position, should not tolerate the use of federal forces in our state for political purposes or in ways that cause mayhem and violate New Mexicans’ constitutional rights. And we certainly do not need presidential attacks on New Mexico that only inflame tensions in an effort to politicize serious issues like improving community safety, achieving racial justice and better supporting those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

“Following this announcement, I am seeking answers about the exact authorities, missions, duration and conditions attached to this operation. I stand with our state’s leadership in keeping a close watch on this sudden deployment of federal law enforcement, and will do everything in my power to protect the constitutional rights and freedom of New Mexicans.”