Amber Wallin, deputy director, said that Chaves County’s outcomes are often tied closely to the fortunes of the oil and gas industry. “Those are things like poverty rates, child abuse rates that are linked to that,” said Wallin. “We know when parents have steady wages and good steady income that is a good predictor of how children are doing.” She added that the pandemic had a dramatically different effect on people depending on their social circumstances.
Amber Wallin, executive director of NMVC, said New Mexico legislators should continue to enact legislation that will positively impact families and children, particularly families of color. “During this Legislative session we’re continuing to focus on public policy to provide robust safety net support, especially in direct economic assistance for families who need it the most, especially for low-income front line workers, refugee and immigrant families unable to access key forms of relief,” she said.
In this legislative session, New Mexico Voices for Children will be asking lawmakers to put families with children first in policymaking. High on the list of policies that will help ensure a just recovery and equitable opportunities for all families are enacting a state-level CTC, with families facing the biggest economic challenges seeing the biggest benefits.
“If lawmakers continue putting kids and families first, we expect to see even more improvements, Wallin said. “However, in order to ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic and recession, these policies must consider the unique barriers faced by our children, families, and communities of color.”
The bilingual survey of 1,000 Hispanic adults, including nearly 250 immigrants, was conducted last month by polling firm BSP Research and commissioned by New Mexico Economic Relief Working Group, a coalition of organizations that includes children advocacy nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children and the immigrant rights group Somos Un Pueblo Unido. The effort was a follow-up to a smaller survey conducted in 2020.
“This is very sobering data,” Sanchez said. The findings, he said, show “tough times for everybody across New Mexico, particularly rural Hispanic residents.” The survey was sponsored by a host of groups advocating for worker or immigrant rights, including Somos Un Pueblo Unido, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos and New Mexico Voices for Children.
When you file your tax return this winter, you may be in for a very nice surprise. Thanks to the leadership of state legislators and Governor Lujan Grisham, New Mexico enacted several improvements in two tax credits that help those New Mexicans who need it most.
"Data shows these types of programs disproportionately benefit families that are headed by mothers, and that's really important right now because the data also shows that mothers have really disproportionately been harmed by the economic impacts of the pandemic," said Wallin.
A recent New Mexico Voices for Children report, Eligible but Excluded, said that federal law requires state agencies to provide “meaningful access” to people who speak languages other than English but many state agencies in New Mexico have no plans in place to improve language access. This makes breaking a system of economic hardship difficult and is inequitable, the report states.
“I think that the level of which people are being impacted by the pandemic is clearly not equal across genders, not equal across income spectrums, not equal across race or ethnicities. Because of that, we know women of color and women generally have been harmed more.”