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Senate Republicans Propose Special Session Legislation to Secure Border, Target Fentanyl Dealers

SANTA FE—Today, Senate Republican Leader, Senator Greg Baca (R-Belen), and Senator Crystal Brantley (R-Elephant Butte) released a package of bills aimed at securing the border and increasing penalties for those who distribute fentanyl. The announcement comes on the heels of a recent letter from Senate Republicans to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham urging her to address the escalating crisis at New Mexico’s southern border during the upcoming Special Session.


“The Governor and Democratic leaders have yet to reach any consensus on a public safety package for the Special Session,” said Senator Baca. “In the meantime, we have an unprecedented public safety crisis unfolding at the southern border—one that demands our immediate attention and action. If the Governor is serious about fighting crime, let’s start by securing our state from the criminals ravaging our border communities with fatal drugs and deadly violence.”


Among the legislative proposals to be introduced during the Special Session are:


  •  Legislation prohibiting the state and local governments from adopting policies to prohibit or restrict cooperation with federal immigration authorities, effectively banning “sanctuary cities”;

  •  Legislation increasing the penalty for selling or distributing fentanyl;

  • Legislation adding a first degree murder charge for distribution of fentanyl resulting in death; and

  • Legislation appropriating funds to improve communications infrastructure for border security and surveillance.

“I have personally witnessed the impacts of the Biden border crisis on my local communities,” added Senator Brantley, whose Senate District covers most of the New Mexico-Mexico border. “The unchecked flow of illegal immigration has left my constituents exposed to violent crime, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and damage to their properties. Although these bills do not address all these issues, they will discourage and curb some illegal activity until the Governor takes more drastic steps to secure our state and protect our citizens.”  


Senate Republicans have noted that according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, illegal encounters at New Mexico’s southern border have surged every year since President Joe Biden took office. New Mexico was also recently deemed a “hotspot” for both illegal crossings and migrant deaths by national and local media.


“The humanitarian nature of this crisis cannot be overstated,” added Senator Baca. “Too many human lives are at risk, and without strong leadership and action at the state level, this pressing situation will get much worse. We have tools at our disposal, and I urge the Governor and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us on this moving forward.”


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