When they had nowhere else to turn
Earlier this year, New Mexicans stepped up during a trying time in our nation's history. They gave a true New Mexico welcome to the thousands of parents and children who arrived at our state's southern border. A few weeks ago, I joined some of the local officials, first responders, and volunteers in Deming and Las Cruces who took people in even when they were beyond capacity - always finding a way to provide shelter, food and help to those who had nowhere else to turn.
PHOTO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich recognizes community members from Luna County and the City of Deming for their response to assist migrant families, October 3, 2019.
The families and children that came to our doorstep faced an impossible situation. In a politically-driven effort to sow chaos and foment a crisis, the Trump administration played with the lives of thousands of asylum seekers-many of whom were fleeing unthinkable violence and persecution. The administration provided almost no communication or coordination with local 0fficials while releasing thousands of asylum-seekers into communities in our state's border region.
PHOTO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich recognizes community members from Doña Ana County and the City of Las Cruces for their response to assist migrant families, October 4, 2019.
I recognize that these services should have been covered by the federal government. That's why I have fought so hard to make sure the federal government repays those burdened by the administration's policies on the border. On Friday, the New Mexico Congressional Delegation announced the first humanitarian assistance awards. I will keep fighting to hold the federal government accountable for reimbursing our local governments and non-profits for their unbudgeted costs.
There's no dollar amount that can equal my appreciation for the compassion New Mexicans have shown during this time of trial. Helping those who are desperately seeking refuge and the prospect of a better life is what America truly stands for as a nation built by many generations of immigrants.
I will keep fighting for policies that respect the dignity of immigrants, recognize the real needs of our vibrant border communities, and live up to our true American values. I can keep this fight going in Washington, because I know - without a doubt - that you are representing our most deeply held values here at home.
United States Senator