ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hundreds of college and high school students across New Mexico walked out of class Tuesday in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program following President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Obama-era program.
Among the crowd at UNM, KOB met first-year medical student Estefania Montanez, a DACA recipient from Mexico who moved to New Mexico when she was just 1 year old.
"I’ve grown up in New Mexico my whole life," she said. "I’ve continued to work to serve the people of New Mexico because this is my home."
About 150 Rio Grande High School students also walked out of class. They marched down the street to the Westside Community Center where they held a rally.
Meanwhile, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, announced he’s now building a lawsuit with other state attorneys general to sue the Trump administration. Balderas says ending DACA is a threat to public safety.
“I’m optimistic that the Congress will weigh in but truth be told this is a black eye for this country,” he said. “They are teachers, law enforcement agents and members of the military. They deserve Constitutional protection and I believe you’ll have many states’ Attorneys General defend the health, safety and welfare of the individuals within our borders.”
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich posted this video on his Facebook page. For mobile users, click here.
For more reaction from New Mexico’s elected officials, click here.
According to current estimates, there are nearly 7,000 DACA recipients living in New Mexico and 800,000 nationwide.