This Article addresses the issue of New Mexico’s treatment of immigration status in four parts. Part I explores the history of New Mexico. From its earliest days New Mexico demonstrated an acceptance of immigrants into society. Many New Mexico laws grant rights to residents of the state regardless of immigration status, and as a result, undocumented immigrants have become large contributors to the state’s economy. Part II discusses New Mexico’s approach to issues involving a party’s immigration status. Although New Mexico has not explicitly prohibited the introduction of a party’s immigration status, case law suggests New Mexico courts would deny such evidence on the basis of prejudice or lack of relevancy. Part III introduces precedent and arguments from other jurisdictions throughout the United States. Finally, Part IV explains why New Mexico’s current approach to immigration status is correct and argues that the prejudicial effect of a party’s immigration status outweighs its probative value. Part IV also suggests that New Mexico courts should either exclude evidence of immigration status on the basis of prejudice or lack of relevancy or follow the restrictive approaches of other jurisdictions that require defendants to prove the probability of a plaintiff’s deportation before they may introduce evidence of the plaintiff’s immigration status.
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Nicholas T. Davis & F. Michael Hart,
A Question of Excluding Immigration Status in Civil Court: Why Torres Got It Right,
N.M. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/nmlr/vol45/iss3/3