On May 6, 2024, Albuquerque City Council members introduced Resolution 24-45, which aimed to carve out select portions of Albuquerque’s immigrant-friendly policies. R-24-45 would have allowed the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) to aid in the enforcement of federal immigration laws in cases where there are charges—not convictions—of a felony involving violence, human trafficking, or trafficking of controlled substances.

Enlace Comunitario collaborated with multiple area partners—whose efforts were coordinated by El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos—to educate the public and advocate against this harmful resolution. Partners and Enlace raised several concerns with R-24-45 at subsequent City Council meetings, including violations of due process/the establishment a two-tiered justice system; racial profiling; anti-immigrant biases; the “silencing/chilling effect” on DV survivors—in reporting abuse; and APD’s collaboration with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

For Enlace’s domestic violence (DV) clients, this resolution would have given more power to abusers to silence or intimidate their victims into not reporting the abuse. Given that Enlace’s client population is predominantly Spanish-speaking Latine immigrants, a significant percentage of whom live in mixed-status or undocumented families, it would have been highly unlikely for DV victims to report abuse with an APD-ICE collaboration. After weeks of pushback from survivors of DV, sexual assault, and other violent crimes, as well as community leaders, unions, and faith leaders, R-24-45 failed in a 5-4 vote during the City Council meeting on Monday, June 3rd. This was a tremendous victory for Enlace’s clients and Albuquerque’s immigrant communities, especially given the rise in xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric locally and nationally leading up to the 2024 general election.

Every day, Enlace’s team partners with DV victims and their children to address their DV situation on their terms. Enlace recognizes that every DV situation is different and DV survivors are the subject matter experts in their own cases; they know how best to address the abuse and how to leverage the resources Enlace provides—including information about policies that protect them at the City level.

DV survivors and Enlace know that proposed policies like R-24-45 would not protect them. In fact, such proposals would do the opposite. Many abusers use policies like R-24-45 against victims—telling them that if they report abuse to police, the victims will lose their children, will be arrested, and/or will be deported. We know firsthand that these proposed changes would have had a devastating and chilling impact on immigrant DV victims and would have made them less inclined to report abuse.

R-24-45 and proposed policies like it are not solutions; such policies will only foster more fear and uncertainty for DV victims, and will make it less likely that they will report abuse. As we move ahead, we encourage politicians to center victims in policies—not put them in further jeopardy by dismissing victims’ voices and disregarding the expertise of local service providers in the generation of policies.

Enlace is proud to have worked in solidarity with community partners to ensure our immigrant communities in Albuquerque remain protected, and we will continue to monitor any future attempts to undermine the rights of immigrants and DV survivors.