I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Congressman Lujan is out of step with northern N.M. on illegal immigration
The other day, when it seemed like everyone else was getting dewey-eyed over the death of a pop star they’d spent the past decade or so mocking as a freak, I was, as usual, perusing the fine print in the “How They Voted” section of the Santa Fe New Mexican to see what our illustrious members of Congress had been up to.
Nothing so newsworthy as dangling a blanket-covered baby over a balcony railing, of course. But I found grist for my political mill.
The House approved the budget for fiscal year 2010 (H.R. 2918) 232 to 178, with New Mexico’s U.S. Reps. Martin Heinrich, D-Albuquerque, and Ben Ray Lujan, D-Santa Fe, voting with the majority, while U.S. Rep. Harry Teague, D-Hobbs, the only New Mexico Democrat who represents what was, until the Obama Coattails Express came through, considered a safe Republican seat, voting no.
Teague, it appears, would prefer not to be a one-termer.
The House also voted on an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2892) that would prohibit the use of any Homeland Security funds to employ illegal immigrants, as supporters of the bill claimed that the federal government was the largest employer of illegal aliens in the country.
I have no idea whether this is true, but whether it is or not, I think most American taxpayers would probably just as soon not see their hard-earned tax dollars being paid to people in this country illegally.
Opponents of the amendment said it was unnecessary because it restates existing law. This is true, of course, but it did not stop 349 members of the House – and there are not even close to 349 Republicans there — from voting for it.
Lujan has not, as far as I can determine, indicated whether that was his reason for voting no on the amendment. Although he Twitters about his legislative activity, he neglected to mention that vote particular vote. I wonder why.
The vote was an opportunity for congressmen to go on record as being either in favor of enforcing our nation’s laws concerning illegal immigration or not, and Lujan has made his views clear.
Those views may resonate with most of my fellow Santa Feans, but I do not think they resonate with the majority of the voters of northern New Mexico whom Lujan represents.
My regular readers know that I would love to see a Republican unseat Lujan and take the 3rd Congressional District seat, but I am a realist, and know this is unlikely.
What might be possible, however, is a strong challenge by a more conservative Democrat to unseat the lackluster Lujan in the Democratic primary. A Democrat who would better represent 3rd district voters outside Santa Fe. A Democrat who didn’t get where he is by nepotism. A Democrat who recognizes that illegal immigration is a serious problem this country needs to solve.
I realize I’m only dreaming, of course.
Most of my fellow citizens would rather sit and watch maudlin retrospectives of Michael Jackson’s brilliant career and tormented private life than to concern themselves with something as trivial as who represents them in Congress. No, much better to go on watching the “E!” channel and mindlessly electing men whose names sound vaguely familiar because their eponymous fathers have been running things in New Mexico for years.
Now back to the real news — hurry, they’re showing another clip of “Beat It”!