The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) was founded in 1986. CHIRLA is a California leader with the national impact made of diverse immigrant families and individuals who act as agents of social change to achieve a world with freedom of mobility, full human rights, and true participatory democracy. CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants. CHIRLA organizes and serves individuals, institutions, and coalitions to build power, transform public opinion, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights. Guided by the power, love, and vision of our community, CHIRLA embraces and drives progressive social change. CHIRLA was formed in response to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 which made hiring undocumented workers illegal, thus creating a situation ripe for worker exploitation and abuse which have increased since that time.
- Meet the needs of low-propensity, new American voters to encourage them to participate in our democracy.
- CHIRLA responds to the critical need for reliable information through a network of community relationships well-established for decades.
- At a time when such services are scarce, CHIRLA works to give the high-quality legal representation that our community requires.
- CHIRLA is able to coordinate actions across the state to win pro-immigrant policies that make a difference in the lives of our members.
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While the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program hangs in the balance and we wait for the Supreme Court to rule on whether the program continues, people with DACA help their communities every day with their work, their ideas, and their presence. In this COVID-19 national emergency, people with DACA are among the nation’s essential workers, caring for patients in ICUs, driving delivery trucks, and picking crops in our farm fields.
As they continue to protect our nation, CHIRLA continues to advocate for them with elected officials and before the Supreme Court. Our legal department is also conducting limited online DACA renewal services as our capacity allows, through an online portal posted on Instagram at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The appointment request form remains live until all appointment slots are filled.
We believe people with DACA are among the nation’s most important resources. We will continue to fight for them with everything we have. Want to join us? #UnstoppableDreams#HomeIsHere
CHIRLA's Federal, State and Local Response to COVID-19
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The ensuing worldwide crisis exposed systemic weaknesses that hamper immigrant access to key services. Government at all levels must respond swiftly, compassionately, and equitably, always accounting for the unique challenges facing immigrants and refugees.
CHIRLA Advocating for All Immigrants
Watch Angelica Salas on Democracy Now (32:00)
WHAT WE DO
California’s Actions to Combat COVID-19
In the absence of inclusive and equitable relief for immigrants from the federal government during the emergency, CHIRLA joins 60 organizations in urging California to create a state response for immigrant communities including access testing treatment, and economic relief.
On March 19, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for all of California—the first in the nation. That week, the Legislature approved $1 billion in new spending to combat COVID-19.
In Newsom’s order, only essential industries and essential workers can operate. About one-third of California’s essential workforce is immigrant, and fills a crucial gap to help California meet this unprecedented challenge. Immigrants care for the sick and ensure our food security during the COVID-19 crisis. In 2016, almost one in four California doctors had graduated from a foreign medical school, a likely sign they were born elsewhere. Also, 121,141 of our nurses (36 percent) are foreign-born. Of the state’s nursing assistants, home health aides and psychiatric workers, 90,217 (44 percent) are foreign-born.
Sean Tan member of the California Dream Network, CHIRLA’s college state-wide youth program, to participate in She the People-Congressional Women of Color Town Hall focused on COVID-19 Relief in Congress. Sean spoke about his own experience, his concerns and asked Rep. Chu a question. Watch the video here (40 min mark).
CHIRLA is serving and protecting the immigrant community since 1986. We're a nonprofit organization that rely largely on your support to getting our work done. Please pledge your support today!