I understand what our military men and women offer our country. They put their life aside and serve our great nation, never knowing when they will be called to defend our country. They volunteer to walk into the unknown to keep us safe, to keep us free. They must be revered and supported. Supporting our military is to ensure they have the necessary equipment, weapons, and gear to get the job done. They must have the latest technology available and top-notch scientists within their ranks. They also must have high-paying jobs ready for them when they return to civilian life. As Lieutenant Governor, I will encourage programs that support our military.
Law Enforcement/First Responders
Our law enforcement and first responders step into harm’s way everyday to keep our neighborhoods safe and to preserve life. They are never “off” duty. My father was a Sheriff in New Mexico and my brothers have been involved in both law enforcement and the fire department in New Mexico. The families never know when they will get “that call.” We must defend the police, not defund. We must reduce the unnecessary restrictions placed on our officers and first responders so that they do not fear retaliation when they must make a split-second decision in life or death situations. While we must keep them accountable for wrongful actions, we must also equip them with the means necessary to keep us safe as we live our daily lives. Our law enforcement officers need more personnel on the street, updated technology, training and equipment. Increased officers on the street reduces crime. I support funding our law enforcement and first responder departments in order for them to serve safely and efficiently.
Border Security & Border Patrol
I will fight for our border security – which is our national security – to keep our southern border safe from illegal immigration. By allowing the border to be unrestricted, we allow drug cartels, terrorists, coyotes, and gangs to thrive at the expense of innocent individuals. Families pay coyotes for passage across the border, yet at many stops along the way, the coyotes demand more money. Mothers and children are violated in unimaginable ways by these same coyotes. By leaving our border unrestricted, we are encouraging illegal and dangerous behavior and risking the lives of the immigrants.
Our ranchers and our small towns should not be considered ‘just’ collateral damage. The safety and security of those who live along the border are just as important as all New Mexicans, and safety should always be a top priority for our government. I will support all efforts to ensure our border security.
Since January, our border patrol has been overwhelmed. They are not just patrolling the border, they are now serving meals, processing, rescuing, protecting, mitigating infectious diseases, dealing with criminals, and even babysitting the abandoned children. Under normal circumstances, the influx of people crossing our border illegally was a strain on our border patrol. Now, the number of people crossing our border has increased so dramatically that our border agents are no longer able to effectively carry out their duties. This year, in March alone, there were over 170,000 migrants taken into custody. This is over 5,600 people per day. Securing our border eliminates this undue burden on our healthcare system, government benefits, and our border patrol agents.
Our broken immigration system needs to be fixed. We must have a pathway for legal immigrants to come to our country, just as my grandfather did from Greece so many years ago. Immigrants who want to make a positive contribution and become citizens are encouraged to go through the legal process, assimilate, and contribute to society. Currently, our immigration process is upside-down. The legal process to become a citizen is cumbersome and lengthy, yet those who cross illegally receive free room and board, healthcare, and government benefits. We need to simplify the legal process while arresting and prosecuting those who enter illegally.
Feeling safe – safe enough to let children play outside, to ride their bikes, or play ball, to go to the mall – this is what all New Mexicans long for. New Mexicans want to feel safe enough to warm up their car in their own driveway, to walk the block in their own neighborhood, or to open their own business for work in the morning. According to 2021 statistics, New Mexico has a higher crime rate than Texas or Arizona. In fact, New Mexico’s crime rate is twice that of the national average. Why the vast difference? One word…leadership, and that is one thing our current administration is lacking. Our law enforcement officers should feel the support of the community and have adequate funding to do their jobs to keep New Mexicans safe.