Language Services in Healthcare

In 2005, NMCLP and partners negotiated a settlement that requires UNM Hospital (the primary hospital providing healthcare to low-income uninsured New Mexicans) to expand language services, including multilingual signs and increased access to interpreters.

Access to Unemployment Benefits

New Mexicans who have lost a job through no fault of their own are entitled to unemployment benefits regardless of the language they speak. In 2020, a civil rights complaint filed by NMCLP on behalf of New Mexicans who primarily speak languages other than English and faced barriers to getting unemployment was settled by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Civil Rights. The settlement required the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions to develop a language access plan and translate documents like the application for unemployment benefits into Spanish and Vietnamese. 

Access to Food and Medical Assistance

Food and medical assistance are supposed to be available to everyone who qualifies for the program, regardless of the language they speak. In January of 2022, NMCLP filed litigation on behalf of New Mexicans who speak languages other than English and Spanish who face barriers to food and medical assistance because interpretation and translation are not provided. The federal court ordered the New Mexico Human Services Department to fix long standing failures in the state phone system to offer interpretation options for multiple languages and provide information on Medicaid notices about language assistance services in non-English languages. 

Language Access Plans in every state agency

In 2022, after years of work by families, community leaders, and NMCLP, the governor signed a bill mandating state agencies to create and implement plans for language translation and interpretation services.