New Mexico

Lujan Grisham vows to snatch gun rights during next legislative session

In a recent development, U.S. District Judge David Urias, a Joe Biden appointee, has upheld far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s amended public health order, which temporarily prohibits the carrying of firearms in public parks and playgrounds in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Governor Lujan Grisham tried to take a victory lap following the ruling, writing, “Bold change is not easy.”

“We must continue this effort with comprehensive public safety actions now and into the upcoming legislative session, where we will work to make these gun violence prevention measures permanent,” she added, vowing to snatch New Mexicans’ gun rights in the next legislative session.

The decision by Judge Urias has implications for the upcoming legislative session, a short 30-day session primarily focused on financial issues. Political expert Brian Sanderoff explained that for anti-gun prevention measures to be considered during this session, the governor would need to include them in the agenda. 

While acknowledging the challenges of passing nonfinancial bills in a short session, Sanderoff expressed optimism that her agenda could be rammed through.

The backdrop of this legal battle involves a city ordinance implemented in 2020 under the Keller administration, which prohibits firearms and other dangerous weapons at public parks and playgrounds. Legal analyst John Day highlighted the sensitivity of areas like playgrounds and parks in the eyes of the law, emphasizing that both the city of Albuquerque and the state governor share the stance of restricting firearms in such locations. Now, only lawbreakers who already don’t follow laws will be able to possess illegal guns in such restricted places while the law-abiding will be disarmed.

Day noted that not all aspects of the governor’s initial gun order survived legal scrutiny, but the ban on guns in areas with children, such as playgrounds and parks, remains a specific area where restrictions are deemed permissible.

While the court’s decision reinforces the city’s existing ordinance, it also underscores the ongoing legal and societal debate surrounding the balance between individual rights and public safety. 

The governor still faces impending impeachment begun by Reps. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and John Block (R-Alamogordo), who are leading the charge over her unconstitutional order and flagrant abuse of her office. Multiple other lawsuits are targeting Lujan Grisham’s abuse of emergency powers. 

UNM joins NMSU in refusing to condemn Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel

In another show of cowardice by New Mexico’s flagship university, the University of New Mexico’s “leadership” joined New Mexico State University in refusing to condemn Hamas’ unprovoked attacks on Israel, leading to over 1,200 people being murdered by the terrorist group.

The statement from UNM read, “As an inclusive and global institution, we recognize that many members of our community have experienced challenging and distressing circumstances related to social and political oppression, conflict, war, and genocide. Today, we unite as university leaders in response to the escalating conflict in Israel and Gaza, and the unfortunate violence affecting our fellow human beings,” refusing to condemn the violence.

“It is impossible not to be profoundly affected by the dramatic and deeply disturbing information and chilling images that continue to emerge from the region. We express our condolences for the loss of life and stand in solidarity with the members of our community who have family, friends, and colleagues in the affected area and who may be directly impacted by the conflict,” the statement continued. “These individuals have courageously shared their personal experiences, concerns, frustration and sadness, and we ask our Lobo community to keep them and their loved ones in their thoughts, especially during this time while they are far from home.”

The statement concluded, “As educators, we believe deeply that learning and discovery serve as the most powerful foundation for helping human communities realize their opportunities without causing harm to other members of the human family.”

NMSU’s interim president Jay Gogue’s recent statement had much of the same nondescript bloviation, reading, in part, “New Mexico State University is fortunate to have students, faculty, and staff from around the world, and acknowledge the direct and indirect impact this violence is having. Our thoughts are with those who are in the most need at this time—those who are experiencing anger, or pain, or worse.” 

Former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell blasted Gogue’s “spineless” statement as “beyond shameful.”

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, has yet to respond to the terrorism unleashed upon Israel, with murdered and raped corpses being dragged through the streets by Hamas terrorists and countless Israelis kidnapped by the radical Islamic group.

Biden-appointed judge rules on Gov. Lujan Grisham’s updated anti-gun order

In a shocking development, U.S. District Judge David Urias has given the green light to enforce a public health order that suspends the right to carry guns at public parks and playgrounds in New Mexico’s largest metropolitan area. The decision comes in response to gun rights advocates’ request to block these temporary firearms restrictions during the ongoing legal challenges.

Far-left Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sees this as a triumph for public safety, especially in light of recent shootings across the state resulting in tragic outcomes, particularly for children. The move underscores the governor’s obsession with implementing anti-gun edicts, cloaking her actions in recent tragedies.

The attempted restrictions in New Mexico have sparked public protests and elicited calls for the governor’s impeachment from Republicans, led by Reps. Stefani Lord of Sandia Park and John Block of Alamogordo. The issue has also led to increased discord among top Democratic officials. Governor Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, maintains her stance that certain public spaces, deemed sensitive, should restrict the open or concealed carry of firearms.

Despite legal pushback from gun rights advocates, who argue that even a scaled-back version would infringe on Second Amendment rights, Judge Urias denied the request for an injunction. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success in court. He rejected the argument that restrictions for “sensitive” places should only apply to locations serving core government functions.

Judge Urias suggested that determining what constitutes a sensitive place might hinge on factors such as the type of function occurring at those locations and whether vulnerable populations, like children, utilize them. He also acknowledged the possibility that the governor could demonstrate a national historical tradition of firearm restrictions at public parks within cities.

The initial order sought to suspend gun-carry rights in most public places in the Albuquerque area, while the current version narrows the scope to public parks and playgrounds. Notably, an exception ensures access to a municipal shooting range park. The restrictions are tied to a statistical threshold for violent crime specific to the Albuquerque area.

Although state police have the authority to assess civil penalties and fines under the order, the sheriff and Albuquerque’s police chief have previously refused to enforce it. Other aspects of the public health order, including monthly inspections of firearms dealers, reports on gunshot victims, and safe-surrender programs, remain intact.

As a temporary restraining order blocking the gun restrictions was set to expire, this decision by Judge Urias signifies a significant development in the ongoing legal battle surrounding firearms regulations in New Mexico.

Suspect accused of murdering 11-year-old released pending trial

One of the suspects implicated in the tragic killing of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas is being released from custody prior to the trial. Daniel Gomez, alongside his co-defendants, faces charges of murder and various other offenses related to the shooting that claimed Froylan’s life and left his cousin, Tatiana Villegas, injured outside Isotopes Park last month.

The prosecution initially sought to keep Gomez detained until the trial. However, they withdrew this motion, asserting that Gomez played a smaller role in the shooting than initially believed. Despite his co-defendants remaining in jail awaiting trial, Gomez awaited the judge’s decision on the conditions of his release. On Wednesday, Judge Emeterio Rudolfo expressed some reservations.

“It’s still an open count of murder that hasn’t been dismissed or reduced in any way,” noted Rudolfo.

As part of his release conditions, Gomez will be required to wear a GPS monitor, observe house arrest, and can only leave for employment purposes.

“The court cannot obviously retain you when there’s no motion before the court,” Rudolfo stated. “I would like something more in line with a house arrest on the GPS and just out to work and nothing else.”

Judge Rudolfo underscored the gravity of the murder charge and emphasized Gomez’s fortune in light of the altered stance by prosecutors regarding pretrial detention.

“The nature of the charge, you’re pretty fortunate that the state withdrew their motion for preventative detention,” Rudolfo pointed out. “In order to remain at liberty, however, you need to comply with all these conditions. Otherwise, you’ll be back in jail awaiting resolution of your case.”

Gomez assured the court that he understood and intended to adhere to all specified conditions. “Yes, your honor. I understand every condition, and I plan on abiding by those rules at all costs,” Gomez affirmed.

The shooting of the 11-year-old was the justification Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham used to sign an unconstitutional executive order banning all open or concealed carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County — a move that a federal Joe Biden-appointed judge quickly struck down.

Interim NMSU president releases ‘spineless’ statement on Israel

New Mexico State University’s interim president, Jay Gogue, recently released a statement days after Israel was violently attacked by Hamas terrorists, leading to over 1,200 deaths. 

Gogue wrote in a statement appearing to not side with Israel or the terrorists in the Gaza strip, writing in a statement labeled “Israel-Gaza Conflict,” “During the past few days, we have been hearing and reading about the escalation of the Israel-Gaza war.”

He added, “New Mexico State University is fortunate to have students, faculty, and staff from around the world, and acknowledge the direct and indirect impact this violence is having. Our thoughts are with those who are in the most need at this time—those who are experiencing anger, or pain, or worse.”

After the statement was released, former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, a Republican who previously served the Second Congressional District, wrote, “This is beyond shameful.”

“One of the most spineless statements from higher education so far – and that’s saying a lot,” she added, telling NMSU, “Do better.”

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, has yet to respond to the terrorism unleashed upon Israel, with murdered and raped corpses being dragged through the streets by Hamas terrorists and countless Israelis kidnapped by the radical Islamic group.

Governor tries justifying unconstitutional anti-gun edict in Tuesday presser

One month following far-left anti-gun Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s unconstitutional edict trying to unilaterally usurp Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents’ rights to open or concealed carry, she called a Tuesday press conference trying to defend the indefensible after a judge struck down her original order and her subsequent amended order.

She tried to take credit for a minor dip in gunshots detected from 166 over a 4-day span in September to 128 over another 4-day span later in the month, despite her unconstitutional orders being on hold pending the judge’s ruling.

“I am incredibly pleased by the outcome, but we have a long way to go,” she said, claiming her policies were helping “move the needle,” despite violent crime at an all-time high, with constant homicides in Albuquerque.

The governor said, “I won’t rest until we don’t have to talk about (gun violence) as an epidemic and a public health emergency. That’s the goal — and if we turn the tide and it’s sustainable.” 

“Every single New Mexican deserves that, and there’s not a single New Mexican who isn’t impacted by our public safety challenges and, quite frankly, this epidemic and crisis,” she claimed.

A Monday murder near the 1100 block of Second Street NW was the 118th homicide in the Duke City, just 20 shy of last year’s total with two full months to go. 

Lujan Grisham recently tripled down on her unconstitutional executive order, having her New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Patrick Allen reissue the stricken firearm ban on parks and playgrounds, which carries $5,000 civil infraction penalties. 

Lujan Grisham continues to face impeachment calls from 31 legislators, being led by Reps. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and John Block (R-Alamogordo), who have begun a certification petition process for an extraordinary impeachment session. 

Texas governor deploys National Guard to reinforce barrier with New Mexico

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has ordered the Texas National Guard to reinforce “the barrier with concertina wire, a type of barbed wire, near the New Mexico state line, close to Sunland Park,” KFOX14 reported.

The reinforcements will be near the Rio Grande bank at the U.S.-Mexico Border.

“The move is meant to restrict what the Governor’s allies consider to be overwhelming migration through unofficial pathways,” the outlet continued.

Title: A dry wash in the high country to the east of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which is split between Hudspeth and Culberson counties in Texas, along the New Mexico border. Library of Congress via Wiki Commons.

Abbott shared via X, formerly Twitter, “‘Texas National Guard reinforces border with razor wire following Governor Abbott’s orders.’ This is on the border between Texas and NEW Mexico.”

He added, “Migrants are entering New Mexico illegally then crossing into Texas. We are stopping it.”

State Rep. Stefani Lord commented on Abbott’s post, tagging New Mexico Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, “[H]ow many crossing into America via New Mexico  are Hamas ‘rape terrorists*’ or other terrorist groups chanting ‘Death to America?’ *Survivors of Hamas attack on music festival: Women were raped next to the corpses of their friends.” 

Abbott launched the state’s Operation Lone Star to stop the scourge of illegal immigration into the country. He has transported illegal immigrants to leftist “sanctuary cities” that have since been angered by the move to the supposed inclusive cities of illegal immigrants. 

Guilty plea unravels gruesome details of trio that trafficked child in NM

23-year-old Bianka Vega, accused of conspiring to traffic a child for prostitution across state lines, has agreed to plead guilty to Misprision of Felony, as revealed by federal court records obtained by Vega, along with co-defendants Cameron Phifer, 24, and Deryan Thomas, 32, was initially indicted in June on grave charges, including Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Minor, Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Minor, Interstate Transportation to Engage in Prostitution, and two additional charges.

The horrific case centers around a missing teenager, identified as “Jane Doe” in public records, who disappeared from her Lubbock home on November 28, 2022. Disturbingly, court documents outline that Vega and her boyfriend, Thomas, took the vulnerable teen from Lubbock to Odessa, Texas, with the sinister intention of engaging in sex trafficking. It is alleged that Phifer, associated with the same “rap music group” as Thomas in Lubbock, was implicated in sex trafficking.

During their time in Odessa, court records assert that Doe was instructed to engage in prostitution by Vega, Thomas, and Phifer. Shockingly, their malevolent plans extended to trafficking in Carlsbad, New Mexico, where Phifer exerted “primary control” over the victim. An ad promoting sexual services, featuring explicit images of Vega and the victim, was reportedly posted on a notorious trafficking website for areas in Roswell and Carlsbad.

The revolting narrative turned darker as law enforcement contacted Vega, who admitted to Phifer that the victim was underage. In a callous response, Phifer allegedly stated, “It’s too late to stop.” Eventually, the victim was left at a hotel in Carlsbad, falling prey to another trafficker.

Thomas and Phifer had previously pleaded not guilty in June, and Vega’s potential guilty plea could lead to a sentence of no more than three years in prison. Meanwhile, Vega remains in custody at the Lubbock County Detention Center. The well-being of the victim remains unclear, as court documents do not provide information on her current status.

This harrowing incident underscores the issue of human trafficking plaguing the nation and shows New Mexico as a haven for human traffickers. All legislation that would increase penalties on these criminals died in the 2023 Legislative Session.

Resources such as the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) are a crucial lifeline for survivors seeking help and support.

New Mexicans react to Hamas’ violent attack on Israel

Over the weekend, the terrorist group Hamas launched its largest attack on Israel in over 50 years, starting a new war in the Middle East — with America’s ally at the center of the attack.

According to the Times of Israel, the Israeli death toll has climbed to over 800, with over 100 hostages kidnapped by the terrorist group.

Following the beginning of the bloody war started by Hamas terrorists, New Mexicans reacted to the slaughter:

“I strongly condemn this appalling terrorist attack by Hamas against the people of Israel. This senseless loss of life is tragic and heartbreaking. This despicable attack must be denounced by all and I stand with the people of Israel as it defends itself,” wrote Democrat U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján on X, formerly Twitter. 

“The Republican Party of New Mexico Stands with Israel as they defend themselves against the brutal attacks from Hamas. Our hearts are with the Israeli victims and their families as we join with multitudes from all around the world in praying for peace and an end to the violence,” wrote Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, wrote, “I join [Joe] Biden and my Senate colleagues in unequivocally condemning the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists. The U.S. stands with the Israeli people and Israel’s right to defend against this horrific violence. My thoughts are with the grieving families and the wounded.”

“These are evil attacks on Israel, and I stand in continued horror to see what is happening to the great people of our most cherished ally. My prayers go out to Israelis, especially the Israel Defense Forces, as it protects its citizens from these terrorists. Prayers for peace,” wrote state Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo). 

Democrat U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez wrote, “The terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians are incredibly disturbing. I strongly condemn Hamas’ actions. Israel has a right to defend itself against these acts of terror and my thoughts are with the Israeli people.”

“I stand with Israel and condemn these horrifying attacks on innocent lives. Our support for Israel must be unwavering. My heart goes out to the people of Israel. You, your family, and your loved ones are in our prayers,” wrote Democrat U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez.

Notably silent on the slaughter of Israelis are Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, and the Democrat Party of New Mexico, among other Democrats.

Referencing the Democrat silence, state Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) wrote, “The silence … from New Mexico elected Democrats … about the terrorist attacks, the kidnappings, and the 600 dead Israelis speaks volumes.  There is no outrage over Shani Louk’s naked body paraded around by Hamas. No condolences to the family. No condemnation of the attacks on innocent civilians. Nothing.  Not a word.” 

Despite teacher pay hike, vacancy rates rising: Report

Teacher vacancies in New Mexico are increasing, reaching 751 unfilled positions this year compared to 690 in 2022, as highlighted in an annual report by New Mexico State University’s Southwest Outreach Academic Research Evaluation and Policy Center. This represents a nine percent rise from the previous year but is notably lower than the 2021 report, which documented over 1,000 empty teacher positions in the state, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

This comes despite the state Legislature unanimously passing a bill giving all school employees a seven percent raise and boosting minimum salaries for public school teachers.

Despite substantial legislative investments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, retaining teachers remains a challenge, as discussed in a recent meeting of the Legislative Finance Committee. Education officials plan to request continued or increased funding for teacher preparation programs, emphasizing the importance of equipping teachers with the necessary skills.

Mary Parr-Sánchez, president of the New Mexico branch of the National Education Association, a far-left teachers union, claimed there needs to be a multifaceted solution involving policy changes and higher wages to address the challenges faced by educators. She said that professionals in the classroom still feel the strain, akin to the challenges during and after the pandemic.

The 2023 report indicates noticeable teacher vacancies, particularly in elementary and special education, as well as math and science classes. Additionally, the state is lacking 482 educational assistants, despite a recent law increasing minimum educational assistant salaries to $25,000.

While the report outlines various needs, including counselors, paraprofessionals, speech-language pathologists, and behavior support providers, it also notes a positive trend. More aspiring teachers are completing preparation programs, with 1,158 graduates in 2023, marking an increase of 131 over 2022.

New Mexico’s education system ranks 51st behind all other states and the District of Columbia.

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