Select Accomplishments

Major Efforts And Accomplishments Of The Center In The Past Decade

GENERAL PUBLIC BENEFITS

We served as one of the main organizations that consulted with the Human Services Department regarding an overhaul of the public benefits application form.  Many of the Center’s recommendations for how to make it easier for eligible clients, especially immigrant clients, to apply were incorporated into the revised form. (2009)

The Center produced and distributed multiple “Know Your Rights” brochures that advised clients and their advocates about how to access the benefits programs.  Separate brochures explain immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits and clients’ rights to appeal denial decisions through a hearing process.  (2008-2010)

The Center led a coalition of organizations to educate legislators about the need for additional caseworkers for the Human Services Department.  Thirty new caseworker positions were approved in 2006 and another fifty were approved in 2008.  (2006-2008)

Together with private counsel, we used the Hatten-Gonzalez v. Hyde consent decree to have the Human Services Department make improvements in the application process for food stamps, Medicaid and emergency food stamps.  In 2008, we won a court order to have the state remove requests for unnecessary information from its benefits application forms, which had been preventing some eligible applicants from receiving public benefits for many years.  The Department then updated its application form accordingly.  By using the Hatten-Gonzalez lawsuit, the Center also compelled the Department to:

  • Re-train its caseworkers to follow regulations concerning the provision of emergency food stamps.
  • Produce an abbreviated, three-page food stamp application for the elderly and disabled.
  • Produce a new form for guiding caseworkers in the verification process. (2006-2008)

In 2006, we helped increase the maximum earnings level at which low-income working parents are eligible for child care subsidies, from 150% of federal poverty level to 155%. (2006)

The Center investigated problems with the state’s fair hearings process for public benefits recipients, and, in conjunction with NM Legal Aid, negotiated to have the Human Services Department revise its fair hearings polices and procedures and set up new oversight and quality control within the program.  (2005)

The Center succeeded in moving the Human Services Department to address serious management problems in its Bernalillo County offices that were resulting in eligible people not getting or losing benefits.  The Department re-assigned regional and local office managers and began weekly site visits by senior state staff.  (2004)

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SNAP/ FOOD STAMPS

Persuaded the state to take advantage of a SNAP/Food Stamp Heating and Cooling Standard Utility Allowance deduction that more accurately reflects the cost of heating and cooling. This resulted in New Mexicans receiving approximately $5 million in additional SNAP/Food Stamp benefits. (2010)

Working with Food Stamp Working Group partner organizations, the Center negotiated with the Human Services Department to improve the method used to calculate earned income for SNAP eligibility, enabling many of the families who were just below the income threshold to become eligible, and increasing the amount of benefits that other families receive.  (2010)

We collaborated with Food Stamp Working Group partner organizations to successfully have the state waive the requirement that SNAP applicants must get rid of assets before they are eligible for food assistance.  (2009)

In partnership with the Food Stamp Working Group, we helped move the Human Services Department to take advantage of a federal option to raise the income threshold for determining who qualifies for SNAP benefits.  The threshold increased from 130% of the federal poverty level to 165% of the federal poverty level. (2009)

We worked with the Human Services Department and the Food Stamp Working Group to have the state adopt ‘simplified reporting’ procedures, through which some categories of food stamp recipients could confirm their eligibility for benefits.  This change lowered the workload of staff and improved program retention.  (2009)

The Center had the state expand the categories of individuals who are eligible for transitional food stamps, which are awarded when a family leaves the NM Works program. (2008)

We played a supporting role in a coalition that succeeded in raising the minimum food stamp benefit for elderly New Mexicans to $20 per month.  (2007)

The Center ensured that the state applied in a timely manner for certain exemptions and waivers available through the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.  These exemptions and waivers provided Food Stamps for an additional 20,000 individuals experiencing special circumstances.  (2005)

When Center staff discovered that the state had incorrectly notified certain low-income adults that they would be subject to work requirements for the Food Stamp program, we informed the state of their error and monitored their corrective action.  (2005)

We supported the establishment of a new Food Stamp outreach program, which had the Tax and Revenue Department collaborate with the Human Services Department to notify taxpayers whose income is within 130% of the federal poverty level that they may be eligible for Food Stamps.  (2005)

We convinced the state to revise its food stamp regulations to comply with federal law so that low-income pregnant women could receive food stamps throughout their pregnancy, and not just in the third trimester.  The Center also had the state to pay back benefits to those who were affected by improper regulations.  (2003)

We moved the state to bring its food stamp regulations into compliance with federal law to allow immigrants to collect food stamps for up to six months while undergoing the process of permanent eligibility verification.  (2003)

We secured the state’s agreement to make changes in the administration of the food stamp program that resulted in continuing benefits for 1,700 participants per year and reimbursements for certain work-related expenses for 22,000 participants.  (2002)

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MEDICAID

The Center authored a report, on behalf of the Medicaid Coalition (which is comprised of nearly 15 advocacy organizations, all of whom gave major input into the report), that provided analysis and recommendations for how the state can best implement federal health reform legislation to serve New Mexico’s low-income families.  (2010)

The Center worked with other advocates, including the Medicaid Coalition and healthcare provider groups, to wage a persistent, extensive information and advocacy campaign to raise public and policy maker awareness of the importance of Medicaid to the health of low-income New Mexicans and our state’s economy.  Due to the efforts of the Center and others, the Medicaid budget was essentially held harmless from cuts that affected nearly every state program.  (2009-2010)

We supported the Human Services Department to remove the five-year waiting period for lawfully residing children and pregnant women to apply for Medicaid and CHIP. We also monitored the Department to ensure that it adopted continuous Medicaid eligibility for kids, which automatically enrolls children for 12 months of Medicaid. This guaranteed that they retain their benefits for a full year, even if the income level of their family changes during that time.  (2009)

The Center ensured that the Human Services Department informs Medicaid recipients of the date by which they need to re-certify their eligibility, if they ask.  (2007)

We led a multi-year campaign to have the Human Services Department revise or rescind the practice of allowing computers to terminate Medicaid cases automatically, without caseworker review (‘autoclosure’).  After years of sustained advocacy, we succeeded in having the Department adopt critical safeguards to the annual Medicaid recertification process.  This had an immediate impact on Medicaid enrollment, increasing it by 40,000 people in three months.  The Center’s campaign involved:

  • Producing a compelling 10-minute video demonstrating the impact of these Medicaid procedures on clients, providers and advocates.  This video was shown to over 30 legislators and the Lieutenant Governor.
  • Organizing state and national figures to communicate with the Governor.
  • Generating media about the issue.
  • Persistently educating policy makers about the problems caused by autoclosure.
  • Supporting a memorial calling on the Human Services Department to address, track and report on problem areas in public benefits administration.
  • Filing and litigating a lawsuit, Valdez v. Hyde, challenging the state’s administrative practices that were causing many Medicaid recipients to erroneously lose their coverage.  (2004-2008)

At our request, and in an effort to prevent so many wrongful terminations, the Human Services Department agreed to notify medical providers about when a patient’s Medicaid is due to end.  (2007)

In the wake of the Center’s Valdez v. Hyde lawsuit, the Human Services Department improved its Medicaid recertification notices, extended the timeframes for clients to submit their paperwork for recertification, and translated the Medicaid application and recertification notices into Spanish.  (2006)

The Center led the advocacy community to oppose new Medicaid cost containment measures that required recertification every six months and allowed computers to automatically close Medicaid cases.  We organized almost one-third of the participants in the Governor’s Health Care Summit on the University of New Mexico Hospital to voice opposition to these procedural changes.  The Governor announced rescission of the six-month certification at the Health Care Summit.  It would take two and a half more years to get the state to disarm the practice of automatic case closure.  (2004-2005)

The Center helped improve healthcare insurance for low-income adults in New Mexico by working with advocacy organizations to reform the State Coverage Insurance program, which was providing benefits below minimum state standards.  The state’s proposal was amended and improved to surpass the minimum standards; premiums and co-pays were reduced, and sources of financing were clarified. (2003)

The Center led advocacy efforts to have the Human Services Department rescind illegally-implemented reductions in the Medicaid personal care option program, which funds community-based services for significantly disabled poor persons.  (2002)

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CASH ASSISTANCE

The Center persuaded the state to provide TANF applicants with information on and the opportunity to request a waiver from the requirement that they cooperate in pursuing child support enforcement. Waiver availability ensures victims of rape and domestic abuse do not have to forego TANF assistance when pursuing support is not safe or prudent. (2010)

In recent years, New Mexico’s TANF expenditures were increasingly being spent on programs that did not serve TANF eligible people, who are generally among the poorest New Mexicans.  In late 2009 and during the 2010 state legislative session, the Center with the Coalition to End Homelessness helped reverse this trend by ensuring that the state budget prioritized TANF monies for TANF recipients.  (2009-2010)

Center staff supported the Human Services Department to draw down the maximum amount of federal dollars available to support our state TANF program.  (2010)

Cash assistance provided through the TANF program is available to very poor people for only 60 months.  When families are in especially difficult circumstances, they may qualify for a hardship waiver, which allows them to continue to receive assistance for an extended period.  In New Mexico, this waiver was hardly ever used, despite growing hardships.  In 2009, the Center successfully convinced the state to expand use of the hardship waiver.  (2009)

Working with the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, the Center helped change a state rule that was causing many low-income caretakers of their grandchildren to lose critical cash assistance when they became the child’s legal guardian.  (2009)

The Center successfully pressed the state to create a waiver in TANF work requirements so that program participants who miss required work activities due to a state error will not be penalized. (2007)

We convinced the state to require caseworkers to provide TANF program participants with a copy of all pertinent rules and instructions during their orientation.  Prior to our intervention, the provision of written program information was optional and at the discretion of the caseworker processing the orientation.  (2007)

The Center coordinated with the Human Services Department to prevent a 50% reduction in state funding for the TANF Wage Subsidy Program.  (2006)

The Center convinced state program administrators to adopt many of our recommended improvements to the General Assistance regulations, including establishing a new disability processing unit and a new policy providing immediate benefits to applicants who are waiting for final approval.  Additionally, retroactive benefits were distributed to individuals (many of them homeless) who had been improperly denied benefits.  Initially, the number of people served increased by 68.9%; however, the program has since been only inconsistently effective. (2004)

Center staff persuaded the state to improve TANF immigrant eligibility regulations to ensure that low-income immigrant women who were victims of domestic violence were not improperly denied benefits.  The Center, in conjunction with New Mexico Legal Aid and immigrant advocates, persuaded the Income Services Division to rewrite their regulations and to provide retroactive benefits to women who had been improperly denied benefits.  (2003)

Center staff convinced the state to establish a protocol for ensuring that persons entitled to an extension of the 60-month time limit for TANF would continue receiving benefits. (2002)

The Center settled a class action (Hancock v. HSD) lawsuit on August 23, 1999, and then monitored the implementation of the agreement.  The settlement distributed almost a million dollars to eligible welfare recipients who were adversely affected by the welfare reform program that was held unconstitutional in Taylor v. Johnson. (1999)

The Center filed and won State ex rel. Taylor v. Johnson, which required Governor Gary Johnson to stop implementing an unconstitutional version of welfare reform, which had been put into place by circumventing the legislature.  This victory set the stage for the legislature to develop the New Mexico Works Act. (1998)

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IMMIGRANT ISSUES

The Center persuaded the Human Services Department to make several improvements in its provision of language interpretation and translation services for clients who are not proficient in English.  These included: re-programming its computer system to make the field describing clients’ preferred language of communication mandatory; starting to translate client notices into Spanish; updating the sign that is posted in benefits offices informing clients about the availability of free language interpreters; and improving caseworker training about the requirement to provide adequate language services.  (2010)

Center staff completed and distributed a report titled Legal Issues in New Mexico’s Colonias Communities, which describes the main civil legal service needs of people living in the colonias.  (2010)

Center attorneys provided legal representation to the Pajarito Mesa colonia to establish the first limited water system in the community.  The Center was acknowledged at the water system’s ground breaking ceremony.  (2008-2010)

We won agreement from the state to post signs in each public benefits offices indicating that free interpreters are available and to add a note on the top of the benefits application form saying that clients have the right to receive an interpreter.  (2009)

We negotiated with the Children, Youth and Families Department to update its child care application to be clear that social security numbers are not necessary in order to apply for or receive assistance.  We also had them train their staff about this important point.  (2008)

The Center worked with administrators at the Children, Youth and Families Department to have the agency develop and implement a language access plan.  As a result, the Department made cultural and language access issues one of its top three department-wide initiatives and took substantial steps towards improving these services.  (2008)

Using the Debra Hatten-Gonzales consent decree, the Center won a court ruling that ordered the Human Services Department to modify its benefits application form to request social security numbers and citizenship status information only from applicants.  The Department later amended the application so that it does not ask non-applicant household members to provide a social security number.  (2008)

The Center convinced the Human Services Department to amend its regulations to provide one year of automatic Medicaid coverage, without any requirements of documentation, for newborn citizen children whose mother qualified for the Emergency Medical Services for Aliens Act.  (2008)

We successfully motivated the state to publish new regulations allowing Medicaid to pay for scheduled caesarian coverage and pre-natal and post-natal care under the Emergency Medical Services for Aliens Act, and to translate related forms into Spanish.  (2008)

We moved the state Tax and Revenue Department to translate the Food Stamp flyer that it sends out with tax refunds into Spanish.  (2008)

Together with the National Immigration Law Center, the Center convened two successful statewide training conferences on immigrant access to the public benefits programs.  The 2008 conference was followed by a strategy session, organized by the Center, which brought advocates together to discuss immigrant access to healthcare and public benefits.  The 2004 conference was a regional training attended by approximately 150 advocates from Texas, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. (2008 and 2004)

We had the Human Services Department agree to: conduct an inventory of the common forms that are not available in Spanish; look into local offices’ usage of the language telephone line (which provides interpretation services by phone) to determine whether it is being used much less than expected; send out a memorandum encouraging staff to use the language line; and look into having a special telephone line set up for Spanish-speaking clients.  (2007)

In response to an effort led by the Center and Enlace Communitario, the Children, Youth and Families Department began repairing substantial administrative problems that were preventing some working immigrant women from obtaining assistance with child care.  (2007)

The Center researched and wrote a report on immigrant poverty issues and the role of civil legal services in addressing them.  (2006)

Center staff persuaded the state to improve TANF immigrant eligibility regulations to ensure that low-income immigrant women who were victims of domestic violence were not improperly denied benefits.  (2003)

We moved the state to bring its food stamp regulations into compliance with federal law to allow immigrants to collect food stamps for up to six months while undergoing the process of permanent eligibility verification.  (2003)

Center staff worked with the Senate Joint Memorial 52 Committee, which was constituted at the request of the legislature, to explore access to healthcare for undocumented immigrants residing in New Mexico.  (Pre-2001)

 

**NOTE:  Please also see the section “Access to Hospital Care for Indigent, Uninsured New Mexicans” for a description of the Center’s work to improve language interpretation and translation services for non-English proficient patients at the main hospitals in the state.**

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CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES

The Center convened or led workshops on poverty law during the two-day annual statewide legal service provider training every year since 1996.  (1996 to 2010)

The Center played a leadership role in procuring and protecting a recurring state appropriation to support civil legal services for poor New Mexicans.  We led the effort to establish a funding allocation to the Civil Legal Services Commission in 2007; helped secure increases in that funding in 2008; and, in 2009 and 2010, spearheaded successful campaigns to protect this funding from the severe budget cuts that resulted in reductions to almost all state programs. (2007 to 2010)

We supported the NM Coalition for Justice’s legislative efforts to establish an independent commission to oversee the Public Defender Department.  Although the bill passed in 2008 with broad legislative, public and legal support, the Governor vetoed it.  (2008)

The Center’s proposal for a rule change to establish uniform free process rules and forms throughout the state was adopted by the Access to Justice Commission and then by the Supreme Court.  These new rules established standards for providing free process to low-income New Mexicans in every county of New Mexico.  Previously, free process was provided inconsistently and, in some counties, not at all.  (2008)

We helped establish the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for public service attorneys, which helps lawyers pay off their law school loans while working lower-paying public interest jobs.  We successfully pushed for $300,000 of recurring state funding for the program.  (2006)

We assisted in the creation of a coalition of state and national organizations called the Coalition for Justice, which aimed to secure more resources for the Public Defender Department and an independent commission to oversee it.  (2006)

Center staff chaired the effort to set up pro hac vice fees in New Mexico to provide support to civil legal services organizations.  A Pro Hac Vice Fund was established and housed at the State Bar.  (2004)

Staff participated in planning for a statewide legal helpline, which resulted in the formation of Law Access New Mexico.  (2000)

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ACCESS TO HOSPITAL CARE FOR INDIGENT, UNINSURED NEW MEXICANS

At Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS):

The Center persuaded Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS), the largest healthcare provider in the state, to expand the amount of charity care it provides by: allowing patients to use charity care to cover co-insurance and deductible amounts; limiting patients’ liability to 30% of their annual income; and raising the self-pay discount from 15% to 25%.  (2010)

We also moved PHS to hire a national consultant to help improve the hospital’s delivery of language services.  (2010)

The Center helped Presbyterian to increase its charity care by 10%, despite the recession; to better train its primary care clinic staff about the charity care policy; and to address the issue of insufficient screening for charity care in the emergency room and urgent care centers.  (2009)

The Center convinced PHS to adopt an electronic system for tracking patients’ language needs and whether an interpreter was provided.  We also had the hospital: translate more of its patient materials into commonly-used languages; post additional signs about the availability of language services; publish articles on interpretation in several of its internal websites; hire two bilingual financial aid counselors; and develop a scorecard system to assess patient satisfaction with these services.  (2009)

We motivated Presbyterian to expand its charity care to cover patients who make an appointment with any physician in the Presbyterian Medical Group.  This was the first time that PHS affirmatively stated that indigent patients could receive free non-emergency care. (2008)

The Center had Presbyterian publish a bilingual flyer describing the availability of financial assistance and post new signs about the availability of interpretation services and financial assistance near the check-in counter at the Emergency Room. (2008)

The Center convinced Presbyterian to substantially revise its charity care policy and to begin tracking charity care applications and their disposition. (2007)

We negotiated with Presbyterian to: write and adopt its first comprehensive medical interpretation and translation policy; train 95 employees in a highly regarded program to better assist non-native English speakers with getting good care; translate signage, financial assistance documents, applications and forms into Spanish and Vietnamese; and begin publishing a newsletter to employees on interpretation services.  (2007)

At the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH):

We convinced the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) to remove any timeframes for patients to appeal decisions about their eligibility for financial assistance.  (2010)

We worked with community advocates to have UNMH provide additional information to patients about the Limited Financial Assistance Program.  This program serves immigrants with emergencies or the symptoms of communicable diseases who do not qualify for UNM Care.  (2010)

In collaboration with community advocates, we persuaded the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) to hire more staff interpreters and to train more staff on how to use them.  (2009)

We helped UNMH create a bilingual brochure about the Emergency Medical Services for Aliens (EMSA) program, made sure that the brochure clarifies that all immigrants are eligible for the program, and assisted with the distribution of the brochure.  (2008)

The Center had UNMH bring back a national language access consultant to conduct a follow-up assessment of the hospital’s language services system.  Our feedback was incorporated into the consultant’s follow-up report.  (2008)

At our urging, UNMH hired a second patient advocate to help clients address financial issues, trained frontline workers about its charity care policies, and agreed to double its interpreter staff and raise its proficiency standards for interpreters and dual-language staff.  (2007)

UNMH changed its billing policies to charge only nominal co-pays and to no longer require uninsured patients to pay 50% of expected costs in advance of receiving care.  Instead, the hospital began charging uninsured patients, including undocumented immigrants, affordable upfront charges based upon income.  (2006)

We negotiated with UNMH to implement a new collections policy that offered reasonable and affordable payment plans for uninsured, low-income patients, with very low monthly payments (as little as $10 a month) and no interest charges on unpaid balances.  (2005)

We achieved a favorable settlement in our lawsuit against UNMH, filed in 2004, which asserted that the hospital was in violation of federal and state laws by failing to have an adequate language interpretation delivery system in place.  The settlement agreement stipulated the steps that UNMH was to take to reduce language barriers at the hospital.  (2005)

In response to UNMH’s failure to provide data concerning its interpretation services and its use of public funding to provide healthcare for the indigent, the Center filed an Inspection of Public Records Act complaint against the hospital.  This complaint resulted in the hospital providing far more financial information than ever before.  (2004)

We succeeded in getting UNMH to cease the practice of charging uninsured patients significantly higher rates than it charges insurance companies.  The hospital agreed to provide care at a fair charge to all indigent patients, including, after much persuasion, to all immigrants.  (2004)

We began providing legal and strategic assistance to a community coalition working to expand access to healthcare for indigents at the University of New Mexico Hospital.  Our collective efforts had UNMH reduce the waiting period for notification of eligibility for financial assistance; allowed documentation to be dropped off, mailed or faxed, as opposed to requiring another appointment; and simplified the application process. (2003)

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NATIVE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE

We worked with community advocates, including the National Indian Youth Council, to convince officials from the University of New Mexico Hospital to do more advertising about the services that are available for Native Americans and to develop an institutional policy on serving Native American patients.  Because of UNMH’s additional advertising targeting Native American patients, the number of calls to the Native American Health Services Office doubled, causing the hospital to hire another staff member for the Office and begin providing on-call services during the evenings and weekends. (2009)

We worked with administrators from the University of New Mexico Hospital and representatives from the Native American community to develop a brochure on Native American access to healthcare at UNMH.  UNMH printed and mailed the brochure to approximately 15,000 Native American households, particularly in areas with high populations of Native Americans.  (2009)

The Center helped plan and coordinate a city-sponsored Native American Health Care Rally with the Office of the Mayor of Albuquerque and the NM Department of Health.  We also assisted with the planning of a Medicaid/SCI enrollment event at First Nations, subsequent to the city’s Native American Health Care Rally.  (2008)

We coordinated with other advocates to support legislation to create a Bernalillo County Urban Indian Health Care Commission.  This Council was the first official (quasi-governmental) entity dedicated to and focused on the health Care needs of Urban Indians in Albuquerque.  (2008)

We published a comprehensive report on access to healthcare for Urban Indians in Albuquerque titled Off-Reservation Native American Access to Healthcare in Albuquerque.(2007)

We assisted UNMH’s Community Affairs Advisory Council (CAAC) with the formation of a sub-committee specifically focused on Urban Indian access issues.  (2007)

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LABOR ISSUES

We won our lawsuit and secured the right to workers’ compensation for agricultural workers in New Mexico (2011).

Since securing the right to workers’ compensation for agricultural workers, we have successfully litigated several dairy worker’s claims for workers’ compensation. These dairy workers, whose employers did not have workers’ compensation insurance, were provided with the benefits they deserve as New Mexican workers. (Ongoing)

We have trained hundreds of workers throughout the state of New Mexico on their rights regarding wages, health and safety, farm labor contractors, workers’ compensation and protection from pesticides.   (Ongoing)

We created the Center’s short documentary entitled: Uncovered: New Mexico’s Farmworkers.  This brief documentary shows real-life workers and their advocates discussing the major problems that ensue for agricultural laborers who are injured on-the-job in a state that does not mandate workers’ compensation insurance. (2010)

The Center filed an equal protection lawsuit against the state in New Mexico District Court challenging the constitutionality of the exclusion of farm and ranch laborers from the Workers’ Compensation Act. (2009)

The Center helped pass a memorial establishing Farmworkers’ Day at the legislature and organized the first Farmworkers’ Day. (2008)

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HOMELESSNESS

We updated the Center’s Legal Manual for Homeless Persons and Their Advocates, which is available for download on our website.  (2010 and 2005)

We coordinated a free homeless legal clinic operating out of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope facility in Las Cruces.  The Center helped establish this clinic in 2006.  (2006-2010)

Center staff filed a legal action and obtained an injunction that stopped the City of Albuquerque from implementing an illegal panhandling ordinance.  We later negotiated with the city to finalize the ordinance, monitored its implementation, educated stakeholders about it, and provided materials for city attorneys to use in training the Albuquerque Police Department. (2004)

We worked with the state Motor Vehicle Division to substantially ease requirements for issuing ID cards to homeless people, who often need identification to get benefits, stay in shelters, have a post office box, etc., but who often find the requirements for obtaining an ID very difficult to meet.  (2004)

Staff publicized local patterns of criminalizing homelessness and succeeded in persuading the Albuquerque Police Department to develop procedures and staff training to stop the common practice of destroying the belongings of homeless persons who are arrested and incarcerated.  APD protocol now calls for treating the belongings of homeless peoples in the same way as any other person.  (2003)

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RE-ENTRY ISSUES

We generated legislation to change the law to allow individuals who were charged with or convicted of minor crimes to expunge their record, giving them the opportunity to have a fresh start.  (2005)

We advocated to obtain Medicaid coverage for otherwise-eligible persons who had been excluded due to felony drug convictions.  (Pre-2002)

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JUVENILE JUSTICE

The Center served on a legislatively-convened task force to draft proposed legislation to reform the New Mexico Children’s Code.  Center staff chaired the committee that reviewed provisions addressing truancy and how they related to NM Works school attendance rules.  (Pre-2001)

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TAX REFORM

The Center helped publicize the need for tax reform in New Mexico. We hosted a presentation on tax reform to over a hundred legal advocates, presented on the subject to the Department of Health’s Division I conference, and generated media on the subject. (2004)

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