ACLU sues Duke City over record

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is suing the city of Albuquerque for refusing to provide information regarding the implementation of a federal program to screen arrestees for immigration status in Albuquerque jails.

According to a news release Monday, the city has yet to respond to a request filed in July for information about its role in the federal "Secure Communities" program. Under state law, government agencies must provide requested information within 15 days.

Secure Communities was established to help federal immigration officers identify serious criminal offenders who are unlawfully present in the U.S.

The ACLU says that studies show the program has "largely targeted minor offenders and, in some jurisdictions, has led to higher levels of arrests of people who appear and sound 'foreign.'"

ACLU-NM Managing Attorney Laura Schauer Ives said, "Under state law, ACLU-NM is entitled to $100 in damages for every day the city is delinquent in responding to our public-information request. Because of their noncompliance in this simple matter, the city owes ACLU-NM in excess of $18,000."