2018 Annual Report SUMMARY New Mexico Immigrant Law Center

New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC)

NMILC is a social justice organization, connecting with strategic community partners to ensure our clients receive holistic support. Our mission is to advance justice and equity by empowering low-income immigrant communities through collaborative legal services, advocacy, and education.

This is a summary of our 2018 annual report and highlights our accomplishments from the year. If you'd like to read our full annual report, click here.

What you made possible in 2018:

None of our work would be possible without you, our donors, volunteers, pro bono attorneys, and the foundations who have supported us this year.
End Immigrant Detention



The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spends billions of taxpayer dollars to detain asylum seekers and other immigrants. Most detention centers are privately-operated jails, where stockholder demands to reduce costs and generate profit frequently result in human rights violations, including lack of access to medical care and overcrowding. With the asylum process taking from months to well over a year, detainees often endure such conditions for long periods of time.

This year, the increase in detention and deportation proceedings, due to the Trump Administration’s family separation policy in the El Paso border region and their increased enforcement within the U.S., dramatically increased calls to NMILC from individuals seeking assistance from the Cibola and Otero detention centers in New Mexico, as well as from family members and lawyers from all over the country who are trying to assist them.

Our work at the Cibola County Correctional Center is funded by donors like you. We do not receive government contracts for this program.

Adriel Orozco, Associate Director, testifies before the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee of the New Mexico State Legislature, about the abhorrent conditions in the immigrant detention centers in the state.

Because of your financial support, approximately 100 detainees participate in our legal workshops and 30 receive legal advice each week.

Partnering for Systemic Change

We've fostered strategic partnerships with several organizations and projects, both locally and nationally, to create lasting systemic change. With help from Santa Fe Dreamers Project, the National Immigrant Justice Center, ACLU, the University of New MexicoLas Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, and the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee we've created a network of supportive professionals and organizations who work to see change for immigrants in America.

The NIJC, one of NMILC’s national partners at the Cibola County Correctional Center, found that “even if all local immigration attorneys were at their maximum capacity, there would only be enough lawyers to represent approximately six percent of the jail’s population.”

Families Belong Together



Last spring and summer, the Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance policy systematically and forcefully separated children from parents seeking asylum, including children who are preschool age and younger. Thanks to the hard work, tireless advocacy, and incredible support of immigrant communities and their allies all over the country, the administration was ordered to reunite separated families.

Because of your generous support, NMILC has been able to be responsive to the Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance policy and help reunite 74 fathers with their families.

Through the Program for Legal Services (PALS), during the height of the separation, we encountered 74 fathers who had been separated from their children. As part of the effort to reunite these fathers with their children and push back against family separation, NMILC and Santa Fe Dreamers Project shared their information with national and local groups to support litigation and awareness building about the impact of the policy. Thanks to the hard work of national advocacy organizations, with whom we partnered to provide Cibola-specific data, the Trump Administration was ordered to stop the practice of separating families and to reunite those already separated. Since then, the 74 fathers at Cibola were released and reunited with their children.

JEN LAKE OF SUNLIGHT AND AIR PHOTOGRAPHY donated her talent to raise money for NMILC through a #FamiliesBelongTogether photo shoot of our allies.
Here To Stay



Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) enabled hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth to come out of the shadows and fully integrate into their communities by pursuing higher education, obtaining a driver’s license, and upgrading jobs. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ rescission of DACA threw the immigrant community into uncertainty. Since then, several court cases have required the government to accept DACA renewals, but it is unclear how those cases will ultimately be resolved.


Albuquerque and Santa Fe are two of only 14 cities nationwide awarded funding through Cities for Citizenship (C4C) “America is Home,” a four-year, $5 million initiative aimed at supporting municipalities and community partners across the nation in the promotion of citizenship. NMILC joined several grassroots community partners in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe to provide free legal information and services.

There are currently an estimated 20,000 lawful permanent residents eligible to apply for citizenship in Albuquerque and 4,000 in Santa Fe. Through the campaign, we will be able to help eligible immigrants in New Mexico become U.S. citizens, build security for families and have a stronger voice about the issues that impact our community.

Rebellious Lawyering



The legal profession has a dearth of lawyers from the immigrant community and communities of color. Yet, legal professionals from directly impacted communities make for more responsive and more competent legal representation, particularly when serving immigrants. NMILC’s fellowship program works to fill this void and foster social justice lawyers in the process.

This year, with additional support from Equal Justice Works, the UNM School of Law, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we added four new attorney fellows and one new paralegal fellow. These new positions have enabled us to serve more people every month and expand our capacity to respond to emerging policy shifts.

Fiscal Year 2018 Financials

90¢ of every dollar NMILC receives is spent on essential programming.

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." — Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Based on Pirkei Avot II

For more information about NMILC, or how you can help support our work, visit NMILC.org.

MAIN OFFICE: 625 Silver Ave SW, Suite 410, Albuquerque, NM 87102 505.247.1023

SANTA FE OFFICE: First Christian Church, 645 Webber St, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505.217.1942

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