El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos is currently the only Latino immigrants’ rights organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. El CENTRO was founded in November, 2005 as a separate, independent, and autonomous project of Enlace Comunitario, a pro-immigrant, service based organization, in order to respond to the broader needs of and institutional changes identified by the Latino immigrant community. On July 1, 2009 El CENTRO legally separated from Enlace Comunitario and incorporated as an independent non-profit agency.
El CENTRO is a grass roots, 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. We envision a city, state and nation where immigrants can become a collective, conscious, free and powerful force dedicated to the promotion of human rights.
Civil Rights Project: El CENTRO works with its membership to decrease civil rights abuses by local and federal law enforcement authorities, and to decrease unnecessary detention and deportation of immigrants, through three primary activities:
Leadership Initiative: To ensure the long-term sustainability of El CENTRO and to ensure that our work is accountable to the community in which we work, El CENTRO invests in leadership through our Promotora/leadership project which provides interactive training to immigrant women around civil rights and immigrants’ rights; through our board and staff development; and by providing organizing trainings to members and including them in all aspects of our work-- from the planning and implementation of direct actions to participation in legislative advocacy.
Youth Organizing Project: works with youth members to identify their own strengths, power, and voice by gaining the organizing skills necessary to affect positive changes that they want to see in our community, including a shift in institutional power. The group is currently working on support of the DREAM Act, legislation which would provide a path to legalization for young undocumented students that have dreams of obtaining a higher education.
Immigrants’ Rights Hotline and Information Center: El CENTRO provides accurate information to community members in Central New Mexico about their basic rights and resources including issues around detention and deportation, worker’s compensation, labor rights, housing, drivers’ licenses, and healthcare so that community members can become strong advocates for themselves and their families. Participants are then given the option to become members and organize with others who are facing similar barriers to tackle the roots causes of those barriers.
Policy Advocacy: El CENTRO’s membership initiates and participates in campaigns in support of pro-immigrant, non-discriminatory policies at the local and federal level that are conducive to the full integration of immigrant communities and actively fights against anti-immigrant policy initiatives.