While one state attempts to introduce tough new law enforcement measures which critics condemn as unconstitutional and opening the door to racial profiling, the other continues to pursue some of the most permissive policies in the country.
In liberal Santa Fe, which this year celebrates the 400th anniversary of its founding as capital of the Spanish colony of New Mexico, people are quick to condemn Arizona's new legislation, the most controversial parts of which are now the subject of a court injunction.
"I think Arizona, under that governor and that legislature, went in the wrong direction," says Santa Fe Mayor David Coss.
"I think our traditions speak to what's been the best of American history about immigration. I think Arizona's speak to the worst."
New Mexico's long-established Hispanic population is the largest, proportionally, of any state - at 45% - and one of the most influential.
As a result, the state boasts two laws which make it easier for illegal immigrants to thrive.
Driver's licences - a valuable piece of identification - are readily available, while in-state tuition fees and lottery-funded scholarships are available for undocumented students.
Read full article here.
August 1, 2010
Posted by Annalee Davis