Martha Laura Garcia Izaguirre

  • Hosted by New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
  • Sponsored by W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Service location Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Law school Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program New Mexico Immigration Corps

The Project

Martha Laura increased access to legal services for low-income immigrants in underserved and rural communities in New Mexico through strategic collaboration with community partners.

New Mexico is a sparsely populated and impoverished state which prevents many communities across the state from accessing basic legal services. This project builds on state-wide immigration integration efforts and addresses the lack of access to legal services by representing low-income immigrants in underserved areas of New Mexico and establishing strategic partnerships across the state.

Fellowships Highlights

In the past two years, Martha Laura has:

  • Directly represented over 60 individuals in a variety of immigration cases including relief for trafficking victims, crimes victims, and domestic violence victims
  • Provided brief services and pro se assistance to over 800 people through workshops, presentations, and clinics
  • Collaborated with over 20 organizations to support immigrants’ rights at the city, state, and national levels
  • Helped train volunteers and pro bono attorneys on a variety of immigration law topics and mentored law students, paralegals, and legal assistants who are interested in becoming the next generation of social justice advocates

New Mexico Immigration Corps Overview

From 2016 to 2020, the New Mexico Immigration Corps deployed lawyers and paralegals to provide critically needed legal aid to immigrant children and families throughout New Mexico. A primary goal of the program was to create a pipeline of new and prospective lawyers from the immigrant community and communities of color into the public interest sector in New Mexico.

Throughout the four-year program, Fellows partnered with public interest programs at the University of New Mexico School of Law to create opportunities for law students interested in working with immigrant populations; collaborated to increase the representation of historically marginalized individuals in the legal profession; coordinated with pro bono attorneys interested in supporting low-income immigrants; and worked with community organizations to provide holistic services and support.

What’s Next

Martha Laura plans to stay at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center as a Supervising Attorney. She will continue to represent immigrants seeking humanitarian relief and work closely with community partners to create sustainable immigrant-friendly policies and practices across the state of New Mexico. She will also supervise legal assistants and paralegals and increase her leadership role at the organization.


Establishing a Pipeline of Public Interest Attorneys in New Mexico to Support Immigrant Families

I learned a lot and greatly benefitted from being able to meet and confer with other Fellows nationwide. I got a lot of support from the host organization and was given access to all the tools I needed.

Martha Laura Garcia /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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