New Director and Administrative Home

New Director and Administrative Home

The Center on Immigration and Child Welfare (CICW) has a new Director and a new administrative home in the border state of New Mexico at New Mexico State University (NMSU).  Our continuing mission remains the same:  to improve programs and policies related to immigrant children and families involved in the public child welfare system.

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Dr. Megan Finno-Velasquez has been named the new director of the CICW’s efforts from the Albuquerque Center of NMSU, New Mexico’s land-grant university in Las Cruces. NMSU is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and is listed as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. A founding member of the CICW and a Doris Duke Fellow from the University of Southern California, Dr. Finno-Velasquez is an assistant professor of social work in the College of Health and Social Services, which provides MSW education as well as dual MSW-MPH degrees. Dr. Finno-Velasquez has extensive experience working on policy and practice issues with immigrants involved with the child welfare system in New Mexico. Her research interests include impact of immigration policy on immigrant families at risk of involvement with the child welfare system, strategies for maltreatment prevention among immigrants, and cultural competence in child welfare services.  Joining Dr. Finno-Velasquez as CICW staff is Margaret White, an MSW candidate and graduate assistant at NMSU’s School of Social Work. Dr. Ivan de la Rosa, associate professor at the NMSU School of Social Work, will also be supporting the CICW as faculty advisor.

Our appreciation to outgoing Director Dr. Alan J. Dettlaff for his efforts to support the mission of CICW from the beginning. He will remain involved with the CICW as an advisory board member. Thanks also to previous board members, staff, and committee members who have helped shape the CICW through the years. New advisory board information will soon appear on our updated website.

In these times of changing immigration policies and practices, sharing information and resources is increasingly critical. We welcome your response and encourage you to ask others who are interested to become part of our network by visiting our website:

Watch this space for upcoming news, announcements, resources, and conference updates for all of us concerned about immigration and child welfare.

If you no longer wish to receive information from the CICW, please contact us at