Refugee and Immigrant Rights

Home Discussions General NMHEP Statewide Policy Reccomendations Refugee and Immigrant Rights

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    David Gaussoin

    Please post information here –


    Example: New Mexico Asian Family Center (only Asian-based center in NM) / Global 505 (diverse refugee leaders in the community)

    Provide direct services but building our advocacy work (community engagement and systems work).
    No one considered Asians about part of the conversation.

    Some things to key an eye out –

    National Security Entry Registry System
    (Parallels to Japanese Internment Camps – happened in New Mexico)

    Bullying in schools
    Based on campaign platforms in schools (sexual assault)

    Hate Crimes (have to document it – show it is happening)

    What are we doing locally?
    Big push to local politicians – make sure they are aware and accountable (city councilors, school board elections coming up)
    Finding young leaders – from communities of colors (run for office and let’s support that)

    Need ICE to stay out of communities
    If anything changes in standard operations – will be notified

    Protecting Voting Rights – Fill out census (trust building)

    Global 505 – Build network in Abq (have representation of different groups)
    Local in ABQ – need to make sure we are good here. Historically, we haven’t worked with a lot of these communities. Need to build relationships and trust first.

    Ways we can help.
    If you want to help, you really need to help. Call representatives. Could be door knocking.
    We do need partners – cross sector movement building (some can’t do lobbying).

    Mental health services (push for funding for communities of color) – need more counseling

    How do you get to root cause label?

    There is an increase in volunteers – but will they stay in the movement?


    Excerpt from 2016 HEP Policy Strategies Summary

    Kay Bounkeau, Executive Director of the New Mexico Asian Family Center and member of Global 505 shared about their work on a panel at the Statewide Health Equity Gathering and the Action-Oriented Small Group Gathering. New Mexico Asian Family Center is New Mexico’s only service provider tailoring its services to be culturally and linguistically appropriate for the Asian Community. Global 505 is an action-oriented network of immigrant and refugee leaders representing voices of Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latino populations within the International District and South Valley of Bernalillo County. HEP was honored to have New Mexico Asian Family Center and Global 505 representatives participate in the gatherings and share their experiences, strengths, needs, and ideas. Participants recommend prioritizing refugee and immigrant rights and ensure their voices are centered in decision making processes.

    Currently, Global 505 is working to ensure the Albuquerque Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs provides a supportive environment for immigrant and refugee communities. Issues of critical importance for the New Mexico Asian Family Center include: language access implementation; providing racial equity training to law enforcement; and ensuring national data is disaggregated for Asians and not clumped together.

    At the Action-Oriented Small Group Gathering, we had an opportunity to dive deeper into some of the issues facing refugee communities. For instance, bullying in schools and hate crimes were highlighted as critical issues, particularly following the recent presidential election. There is a great need for mental health services, including more counseling. Additionally, it is important to keep an eye out for the National Security Entry Registry System which has parallels to Japanese internment camps that took place in New Mexico. Protecting voting rights is also essential.

    Within the HEP network, the McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity, as part of the McKinley Workers Justice Coalition, is also working in the area of immigrant and workers’ rights as they finish up a HIA on wage theft. Wage theft impacts families when workers are not paid overtime, misclassified, not paid the minimum wage, or simply not paid. The HIA will be an educational document used design to educate the general public and decision makers about the significance of protecting and expand protections of low-wage workers. The HIA has also been opportunity to bring communities (Spanish Speaking Immigrants and Native Americans) to come together across cultural differences to build the power of the people. Please stay tuned for future information about how to get involved and learn more about the work of the coalition.

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