This week, New Mexico in Focus features William Perry Pendley, who has served the U.S. Bureau of Land Management under President Donald Trump and is now deputy director for policy and programs. He visited New Mexico in September while still acting as head of the BLM, a role thrown out by a federal judge last week. While in the state, he visited Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a hotspot for the agency, which is developing two million acres of oil and gas leases in the area. During his visit, Pendley spoke with NMiF correspondent Laura Paskus about his vision for the agency, which oversees 700 million acres of land in the West. 

New Mexico native and current University of Houston law professor Michael A. Olivas has been digging into the history of the DACA program, which deferred immigration enforcement action for childhood arrivals, and the DREAM Act, which has continued to evolve since first introduced in 2001. Correspondent Russell Contreras speaks with Olivas about how the history of the two initiatives informs the present and the future, with next month’s presidential election. 

Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel look at the rush to get as many New Mexican residents as possible to respond to the 2020 Census. Although the final date to complete the census has been shifting – pushed up from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30 and at this moment Oct. 5 – it’s clear that the deadline looms and is vital for federal funding that New Mexicans be counted. The Line also delves further into what former APD Chief Michael Geier is saying about being forced to retire, and looks at the governor’s dismissal of Mark Shea, the state’s public safety secretary. 

New Mexico in Focus is involved, informed, in-depth media airing weekly on New Mexico PBS. The program debuts Friday nights at 7 p.m. on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME-HD) and appears online shortly thereafter. The show rebroadcasts on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME-HD) Sundays at 7 a.m. and on NMPBS 9.1 (WORLD) on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.     

In Focus Interviews

Land Management in New Mexico 

Laura Paskus 

William Perry Pendley, Bureau of Land Management 

DACA and the DREAM Act 

Russell Contreras 

Michael A. Olivas, author, “Perchance to DREAM: A Legal and Political History of the DREAM Act and DACA” 

The Line Opinion Panel    
Merritt Allen, Vox Optima 
Dave Mulryan, founder, Everybody Votes    
Laura Sanchez, attorney  

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the “news of the moment.”

The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Matt Grubs, with Kathy Wimmer, associate producer. The NM PBS Public Affairs executive producer is Kevin McDonald.

The McCune Charitable Foundation provides NMiF funding, along with viewers like you.

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