El CENTRO is a grassroots, Latino immigrant-led organization based in Central New Mexico that works with Latino immigrant communities and allies to defend, strengthen, and advance the rights of our community.
New Mexico essential workers and families continue to struggle financially due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A new statewide poll in December found one-third of Latinos, including immigrants, are still struggling to survive economically. They experienced lost income and increased debt and many were excluded from government stimulus rebates and unemployment benefits. These obstacles, made worse by the recent Omicron wave and closures at schools and businesses, are making it extremely difficult for low-income families to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
In 2022, state legislators will decide how to spend a $1.6 billion surplus in the state’s general fund, a surplus made possible by the hard work of essential immigrant workers in the oil and gas industry. They’ll also allocate$700 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help speed up the state’s health and economic recovery.
The Legislature must allocate funding for emergency economic relief for low-wage workers, rural residents, and immigrant families who were excluded from traditional relief and who have fallen far behind the rest of New Mexico. We also need to make it easier for essential low-wage workers to vote and have a say in future budget issues.
Allocate $15.6 million of ARPA funds to the Human Services Department (HSD) to provide $600 to 26,000 low-income adults who did not receive the three federal stimulus rebates and New Mexico’s 2021 state stimulus.Due to their mixed immigration or tax status, over 30,000 immigrant or very low-income families were unable to access the three federal stimulus rebates, the state’s tax rebate, unemployment benefits, or paid sick leave when exposed to COVID-19. That means a family with three (3) children easily missed out on $40,000-$50,000 in cash relief during the last two years.
Provide a one-time $600 rebate to the lowest income tax filers who qualify for the state’s Working Families Tax Credit & the Low- & Middle- income taxpayers exemption. Research shows the most effective ways to provide relief to families most impacted by the pandemic, reduce poverty and re-circulate money in local economies is through more equitable tax policy. The New Mexico Legislature enacted a similar rebate during the 2021 legislative session and about 160,000 households qualified.
Reform anti-donation clause in NM Constitution to allow our government to provide crucial support to families in need. The outdated anti-donation clause makes it difficult for local governments to use state funding for the public good. Voters should be able help eliminate roadblocks to essential infrastructure projects, disaster relief and community well-being.
Expand voting rights so low-wage workers have a stronger voice in NM. NM should ensure low-wage workers and people of color in rural communities can vote by making it easier to register online, implementing a back-end automatic voter registration (AVR) system, improving our mail-in voting system, and allowing early voting until the Sunday before Election Day.
TO APPLY CLICK HERE OR FOLLOW THIS LINK: https://www.yes.state.nm.us/yesnm/cares
FOR FAQ Click HERE
TO APPLY CLICK HERE OR FOLLOW THIS LINK: https://fund.uptogether.org/albuquerque
Now more than ever, El CENTRO finds the inherent value of our communities becoming a collective, conscious, free and powerful force dedicated to the promotion of human rights. We seek to empower communities through interactive know-your-rights workshops. The objective is to provide essential tools for different communities to defend their civil rights, hold law enforcement/ICE accountable and fight against the criminalization of our communities. Some of the tools involve but are not restricted to:
*information about your rights with law enforcement and federal immigration agents
*dialogue about how we are fighting back and organizing against deportation/enforcement programs;
*emergency family plans
El CENTRO has prepared the following toolkit in collaboration with other organizations across the state and that nation. This toolkit package includes know-your-rights information, family emergency plan form, power of attorney, and “rights cards.” Now more than ever, it is important to KNOW YOUR RIGHTS in order to continue protecting our families and communities.
Click here to read the toolkit for employers and employees put together by the National Employment Law Project and the National Immigration Law Center on how to prepare for I-9 inspections and if ICE arrives at your work.
Please, refer to the following link for resources and information in New Mexico: http://nmilc.org/daca.
Also! check this document that explains your rights and next possible steps if you were elegible for DACA or a DACA beneficiary.
El CENTRO’s members have organized tirelessly since our inception to improve the lives of low-wage workers and families in New Mexico. Some examples of our victories include:
Learn more about our accomplishments
Although we are proud of our accomplishments, together we can so much more! Donate today and become a member to continue to build upon our proud legacy of passing model policies and integrating immigrants into the mainstream.
El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos
714 4th St SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102