This week on New Mexico in Focus, Executive Producer Jeff Proctor speaks with two journalists, Lauren Villagran of USA Today and Omar Ornelas of the El Paso Times, about their yearlong investigation into a spike in migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Last month, the New Mexico Supreme Court handed Republicans a defeat when the justices ruled that the state's redrawn congressional map was constitutional. The case began in early 2022, when the GOP filed a lawsuit alleging state Democrats drew new lines for District 2 in a way that weakened the voting power of residents, mostly in southern New Mexico. Last October, District Court Judge Fred Van Soelen found that Democrats intentionally tried to dilute Republican votes in District 2, but that those efforts did not "rise to the level of an egregious gerrymander." The Supreme Court agreed.   

KUNM reporter Nash Jones has followed the ins and outs of this story since it began. This week, they host a two-part roundtable discussion exploring the ramifications of the court's decision and how this is already shaping the state’s congressional contests and future redistricting efforts. 

Lastly, NMiF looks back on the lasting impact of a historic mining town in the northeast corner of the state. Correspondent Russell Contreras interviews author Nick Pappas about Dawson, New Mexico, and the two mining disasters that devastated the community and made headlines around the world. 

NMiF airs on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME HD) Friday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 7 a.m., and streaming on the PBS video app. 

NMiF Segments

Spike in Migrant Deaths on the Southern Border  Correspondent
Jeff Proctor 

Guests
Lauren Villagran, border reporter, USA Today Network 
Omar Ornelas, photojournalist, El Paso Times 

NM Supreme Court Upholds Redrawn Congressional Map 
Correspondent
Nash Jones 

Guests
Dede Feldman, Democratic Former New Mexico State Senator 
Justine Fox-Young, Republican Former New Mexico State Representative 
Ed Chavez, Chair, Citizen Redistricting Committee 

How N.M.'s Redrawn Congressional Map Could Affect Future Elections 
Correspondent
Nash Jones 

Guests
Dede Feldman, Democratic Former New Mexico State Senator 
Justine Fox-Young, Republican Former New Mexico State Representative 
Ed Chavez, Chair, Citizen Redistricting Committee 

Writer Nick Pappas Remembers NM Ghost Town with New Book, "Crosses of Iron" 
Correspondent
Russell Contreras 

Guest
Nick Pappas, author, “Crosses of Iron: The Tragic Story of Dawson, New Mexico, and its Twin Mining Disasters” 

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people 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.

NMPBS Executive Producer, Public Affairs, is Jeff Proctor. New Mexico in Focus's senior producer for public affairs is Lou DiVizio. “Our Land” Senior Producer is Laura Paskus. The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Antonio Sanchez, and Co-producer is Kathy Wimmer.

Funding for New Mexico in Focus is provided by the McCune Charitable Foundation and Viewers Like You.

Funding for the Your New Mexico Government Project comes from the Thornburg Foundation and New Mexico Local News Fund.

Funding for Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present & Future is provided in part by the Neeper Natural History Programming Fund for KNME-TV.