Native American lawmakers rise to speak

Rep. Sandra Jeff, D-Crownpoint, who sided with the Republicans and Rep. Andy Nunez- I-Hatch yesterday, just delivered a passionate speech that hushed the House chamber. Here are excerpts:

Jeff: Treaties have been broken. I stand before you and I am so disappointed in how we are addressing this issue. Did any of you bother to ask us how w feel about this. All I keep hearing is that it’s the govenror’s bill. I am not here fro the governor. I am here to represent my constituents. I was so disappointed by my colleagues . They should know so better.

House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Nambe: You shall not question any of your colleagues.

Jeff: I am only making a point because some people questioned my colleagues. We’re still here and we’re still fighting for this country. This bill has nothing to do with racial profiling or discrimination.

Jeff, based on her votes yesterday, probably will support Nunez’s legislation if given the chance.

She was followed by Rep. Roger Madalena of the Jemez Pueblo, who supports House Majority leader Ken Martinez‘s substitute.

“I look at this chamber and see immigrants,” he said. “There are good palefaces and bad palefaces.”

That last part brought a laugh.

Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, then rose to speak.

“It’s hard to follow the last two speakers. They truly are the legal immigrants here.”

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About triptothecapitol

Trip Jennings is a Capitol reporter at the Santa Fe New Mexican.
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