From Farmington to Las Cruces: The State Department's Impact on New Mexico

3 minutes read time
Hot air balloons and the words "State4States" and "New Mexico"
#State4States: The Department of State has direct impact on the state of New Mexico

From Farmington to Las Cruces: The State Department's Impact on New Mexico

On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Land of Enchantment” through academic partnerships that support indigenous communities, law enforcement training, and scientific collaboration.

First, the State Department positively impacts New Mexico through academic programs. In an effort to increase the opportunities available to underserved students, U.S. Mission Mexico has issued grants to the University of New Mexico to host a four-week program for 15 top indigenous undergraduate Mexican students each year since 2015. The Spanish-language program focuses on community identity and leadership, and seeks to strengthen the participants’ leadership skills and understanding of how tribal, state, and federal agencies interact. In addition, the participants learn about the role of New Mexico’s Congress, and gives them the opportunity to meet with peers and indigenous groups in the United States. Cross-cultural programs like this one enrich both the Mexican students and the New Mexican groups who meet with them, increasing mutual understanding with our neighbors to the south.

Secondly, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs sponsors, funds, and administers an executive level international law enforcement academy (ILEA) in Roswell, New Mexico. ILEA Roswell leverages the expertise of 15 agencies from the U.S. federal law enforcement community and experts from state and local law enforcement agencies – including New Mexico’s own – to facilitate policy discussions with senior criminal justice executives from 100 countries around the world. Approximately 300 senior policy makers convene in Roswell to participate in symposiums on key transnational organized crime issues including anti-corruption, countering violent extremism, counter-narcotics, human trafficking, and international financial investigations. Delegations to Roswell are comprised of chief prosecutors, Supreme Court justices and other senior judges, law enforcement executives, and law makers who have the ability to effect meaningful change in the criminal justice systems in their home countries. In conjunction with the intense classroom discussions and facilitation, ILEA Roswell delegates are given opportunities to explore the rich history and culture of New Mexico, and probably learn their preferred answer to the question, “red or green chile?”

Finally, the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service and DNA4Technologies, supports New Mexico State University in the development of methods to extract, isolate, and analyze DNA from the wood of commercially-traded species. These techniques aid customs and law enforcement authorities and the private sector with a reliable means to identify wood species in trade and prevent illegal forest products from entering U.S. supply chains.

From Farmington to Las Cruces, the State Department positively impacts New Mexicans through support for indigenous communities, law enforcement training, and scientific collaboration that aids customs and law enforcement officers in doing their jobs. And New Mexico impacts the world… most likely through one bowl of green chile stew at a time.

Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State.

Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.

For more information: