Verenice Peregrino Pompa

Verenice joins our Public Benefits team after completing her two-year language access fellowship at the Center, which ended in August of 2021.  After working with community partners to advance language access services at state agencies, she will continue to push for language access in her new role as it relates to public benefits and the Center’s work as a whole. She will also continue to partner with community organizations to remove barriers to public benefits, focusing on child care assistance, increasing food security, and immigrant issues. Verenice was born in rural Chihuahua, Mexico, and grew up in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. While in law school she was the Multicultural Relations Editor/Managing Editor of UNM’s Tribal Law Journal and the president of the Mexican American Law Students Association (MALSA).
J.D. from University of New Mexico School of Law in May of 2019.

Teague González

Teague González has twelve years of public benefits advocacy experience directly representing homeless and disabled adults and children. She has legislative and campaign advocacy experience in defending public benefits from budget cuts. Teague has worked on-site providing legal services to homeless shelter residents, engaged in mass defense by training law students and volunteer attorneys to represent general assistance recipients at their termination hearings, worked in the county jail representing disabled inmates before their release, and visited youth shelters to assist transitional age homeless youth. Teague formerly worked at the Alameda County Homeless Action Center and was in private practice before joining the Center. Teague was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and lives in Albuquerque with her husband and two children.
J.D. from New College of California School of Public Interest Law in 2006

Sovereign Hager

Ms. Hager has more than 10 years of experience working to advance economic and social justice. In the last five years, as an attorney at the Center, she worked extensively to increase access to public benefits in state and federal court, as well as in community, administrative, and legislative forums. She is an established expert in New Mexico on the complex regulatory framework for public benefits programs, eligibility for families that include immigrants and frequently provides expert testimony to the legislature. Ms. Hager has secured major court victories on behalf of her clients to increase access to food and medical assistance, drivers’ licenses, and other programs.

Before joining the Center, Ms. Hager worked for two years on the Navajo Nation for DNA People’s Legal Services’ Medical Legal Partnership, where she handled a broad range of legal issues impacting the health of patients at an Indian Health Service facility. Her advocacy included public benefits, domestic violence, special education, housing, consumer and workers’ rights. Ms. Hager has past advocacy experience working to improve farmworker pay and living conditions and enforcing fair housing laws.

J.D. and MA from Syracuse University in 2011.