Press Room



CHIRLA Selected to Receive Grant to Conduct Health Benefit Exchange Outreach and Education to Californians

The California Healthy New Americans Initiative will reach uninsured Latinos and college students


Los Angeles –The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) announced Tuesday it has been selected by Covered California, an independent body in the state government charged to help individuals compare and choose a health plan that works best for their health needs and budget, to reach out to uninsured Latinos and college students in California in time for the onset of the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2014.

The following is a statement for Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a California non-profit organization that exists to promote and defend the rights and advancement of immigrants in a just society.

“We are honored and proud to have been selected by Covered California to conduct outreach and education activities with underserved Latinos and college students in the Golden State.  This is a historic effort to ensure millions of Californians understand and enroll in the Affordable Healthcare Act before March 2014.  

For more than 25 years CHIRLA has advocated for and served Latinos and immigrant families.  The community we serve faces significant challenges and we have little time to make sure we reach as many who need affordable health care.  But let there be no doubt that CHIRLA and the vast network of health care evangelists funded under this initiative will roll up our sleeves and hit the road running. 

Today is a good day for Californians, especially millions of underserved families who work hard but remain uninsured.  CHIRLA, through its California Healthy New Americans Initiative, is excited to join hands with Covered California to start a new chapter in health care accessibility for California’s most valuable asset.  Here’s to everyone’s health!”









Immigrant students and their allies gathered dowtown Los Angeles today to call on President Obama to stop deporting immigrant families and provide real administrative relief.  Members of CHIRLA's California Dream Network joined the "Right to Dream" rally and press conference at Pershing Square.



“Step Out to End Life in the Shadows”

CHIRLA appeals to Americans to mark May Day as a national day of action for immigration reform.  Media organizations called on to do their part and mobilize masses.

Los Angeles – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) made an impassioned appeal today calling on Americans to mark May 1 as a national day of action in support of worker rights and immigration reform.  CHIRLA also called on traditional and non-traditional media organizations, bloggers, writers, DJs, celebrities, anchors, reporters, editors, and producers, to urge immigrants to come out in force May Day.  May 1 falls in the middle of the Congressional recess.  The Senate is expected to begin the immigration bill’s markup May 9.  The following is a statement for Angelica Salas with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional immigrant rights organizations with national impact.

“The traditional May Day celebrations, rallies, and marches are fast approaching and tens of thousands will take to the streets to express their support for worker rights and long-overdue immigration system updates.   We call on every American family to mark May 1 as a national day of action to press for the end of life in the shadows for millions of undocumented workers, students, families, and children who call the U.S. home.

We make a special appeal to traditional and non-traditional media organizations, writers, reporters, bloggers, DJs, radio personalities, news anchors, assignment editors, producers, and directors to add your voice to this historic push for immigration reform.  Whether anti or in support, we need the media’s support to engage Americans in a respectful and meaningful dialogue about a fair, inclusive, and real approach to immigration and the 11 million of undocumented workers living in the U.S. And we welcome your encouragement to our community to walk, run, march, rally, and speak out on May Day in support of real and long-lasting immigration reform.  If we do not show up by the tens of thousands, who will?

At no other time in recent history has the American public and a large majority of its elected representatives concurred that our immigration laws are dangerously broken, morally reprehensible, and deserving of an overhaul without delay.  Moreover, playing politics with the lives of millions of families who are American in everything but paper is unacceptable to Americans regardless of their political affiliation.  Many elected leaders in Congress have heeded the call for bipartisanship and have gotten to work on a serious, direct, and inclusive path to citizenship.  Far too many Senators and Members of Congress, however, continue to lend a deaf ear to a November 6 voter mandate and unless pressured bow to defy conventional wisdom and seek piecemeal approaches or work to derail the hard-earned progress altogether.  We will remain strong and steadfast in our efforts to keep the dreams of aspiring Americans, just like generations of immigrants before them, alive.

On May Day we call on everyone who can manage to take some time off work or school to step forward into the light and chant, march, and rally away the shadows that keep our communities from flourishing, families from staying together, and elected leaders from doing what is decent, moral, and necessary.  Whatever you do, let us take a step forward on May 1.”


Many Sticks to Reach the Carrot

Senate immigration proposal represents opportunity to fix broken system, uphold the promise of the American Dream, and build on the contribution of millions who will emerge from the shadows.  But real immigration reform legislation must be measured by how many people reach the finish line, not just how many people start the path.

Los AngelesLos Angeles – A bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of 8 charged with drafting a path to citizenship announced it is ready to share the fruit of their labor this week.  The proposed immigration reform bill is the first serious attempt in nearly two decades to tackle a broken immigration system.  The following is a statement for Angelica Salas, Executive Director with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional human and civil rights organization with national impact.

“The introduction of the Senate version for a path to citizenship marks a historic and profound moment in American history.  Like generations before, immigrants today, especially immigrant workers who live in the U.S. without documents, will finally have a chance to emerge from the shadows and see their aspirations become part of this nation’s social fabric and vitality.   It is a great day in America when our nationally-elected leaders make due on their promise to serve a nation’s people without letting politics hinder them from doing the right thing.

The Senate bipartisan Gang of 8 is to be commended for their hard work in drafting this significant legislation.  We have only started to analyze the intricate details in the proposed legislation, yet it is clear a great deal of thought has gone into drafting it.   Although the initial draft seems focused on adopting a more stick and less carrot approach to immigration policy, we bow to remain actively engaged with Congress to ensure the final product is a common sense, fair, and inclusive bill.

True, long-lasting immigration reform must include, without exception, a direct and full path to citizenship allowing for millions to start the process AND reach the finish line within a few years, not decades after or at all. The family should remain the cornerstone of America’s immigration policy and no generation should bear the burden of parting with or choosing from one loved one over another.  For us to fully support an immigration reform bill it needs to be accessible in terms of cost, fair and realistic in its documentation requirements, contain a responsible and inclusive cut-off date, protect confidentiality, not exclude applicants for minor offenses, eliminate the 3 and 10 year bars, include applicants for asylum, TPS, U-Visa, and VAWA recipients in the expedited process for DACA recipients, and protect from deportation those who would otherwise qualify for the legalization program.

After many years of marching, families who have spoken up, students who would not give up their dreams, leaders who have risked their political careers to do the right thing, and people using their political power by voting, we at last have an immigration bill we can work with.  While we believe this proposal is a strong first step, now is time for the American people to actively engage with Congress to ensure the bill is the right one for our families and for America.  The political, economic, and moral imperative for legalization has never been clearer and we commend Congress for undertaking the task and moving forward with a bill that will modernize our nation’s immigration laws, honor our history and reflect our values.”


Press Statement

Senator Feintein must Represent All Californians at Critical Time in Immigration Reform Dialogue

Los Angeles -- The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) reacted today to Senator Feinstein's press statement where she underscores "strong" support for immigration reform while touting her efforts to include agricultural workers as part of an overall immigration reform package.  

"Senator Feinstein has demonstrated in the past she can be a true champion for Californians.  Her strong position as the senior senator and the role she plays as part of the Judiciary Committee, place her directly in the path where she can steer or veer an issue to favor our communities.  

In the current immigration reform debate, however, we are sadly aware Senator Feinstein has remained consistently silent when it comes to legislation that strongly favors family unity.  As our senior senator, she must be fully aware that family is the core pillar in our communities.  California is home to the largest number of Asian and Latino immigrants in the nation and the state with the highest number of undocumented immigrants who will most likely benefit from a fair, accessible, and inclusive immigration overhaul."  

But without a strong family component, any immigration reform legislation will be considered seriously flawed by our communities.  This is why we need Senator Feinstein's strong support which goes beyond words or legislation that benefits a small segment of our state's population.  We need Senator Feinstein to meet with immigrant families, hear their stories, and fight hand and hand with us to remain united.  We need Senator Feinstein to represent all Californians as she was elected to do."




History is on the Side of Workers Once Again
Passage of Assembly Bill 889 in Senate recognizes household worker basic rights

Los Angeles – On Wednesday, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) celebrated the passage of AB 889, the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, in the Senate by a vote of 21-13 in favor.  The California Legislature takes up the bill on Thursday.  Nannies, housekeepers, child care providers and caregivers in California would be eligible for overtime and meal breaks under this bill.  The bill also would require that live-in workers be compensated if their eight-hour rest period was interrupted. This bill is not intended to regulate casual “baby sitters”.  Regulations governing their working conditions would be set by the state Department of Industrial Relations.  California would be the second state, after New York, to adopt such rules.

The following is a statement from Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional immigrant rights organization based in Los Angeles.

“The California home is closer than ever to becoming a place where a live-in household worker, nanny, or caregiver finds respect and basic labor protections for a job well done almost always in silence and shadows.

For the first time in history since basic labor standards were established for every other worker except household workers and slaves, California’s AB889 is close to offering basic provisions for these hard workers. 

History has once again sided with workers, this time providing overtime pay, meals, rest periods, and adequate sleep, debunking the indefensible age-old argument that it’s unworkable to recognize, value, and remunerate a woman’s work in the house.

Almost every family in California has needed the help and support of a caregiver, live-in nanny or household keeper at some point.  Today, we are calling on Governor Brown to sign AB889 and give California families a tool to thank and improve the living conditions of those who have given their best to make life at home a little easier.”



Bilingual Webminars on Youth Immigration Relief Program
Seminarios Bilingues por Internet sobre el Programa de Alivio Migratorio para Jóvenes.


Los Angeles, CA – Beginning July 4, 2012, those interested in further information about the immigration relief program announced by President Obama this past June 15, 2012, will have one more place to go.  The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the California Dream Network, CHIRLA’s statewide youth branch, have set up a month-long series of free webminars, internet-based chats, in English and Spanish to community members interested in learning more about the Deferred Action for Dreamers program.

The live webminars will be held every Wednesday, in English, and Thursday, in Spanish, and will be led by trained peers, supervised by volunteer immigration attorneys.  Participants are required to sign in advance by clicking here:

The sign-in period to receive Deferred Action for Dreamers is expected begin within 60 to 90 days, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, but specifics have yet to emerge.  In the meantime, unscrupulous attorneys and notarios have already started offering services and promising applicants an early start.



Every Wednesday in July at 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. (PST) English format

Every Thursday in July at 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. (PST) Spanish format



Participants must register in advance to any of the Wednesday or Thursday webminars by pressing on the following link:




California Dream Network, CHIRLA’s statewide youth branch

For more information, please contact Horacio Arroyo at (213) 201-4449 or






Lucha pro Derechos Civiles Continúa No Obstante Fallo
Vergonzoso de Corte Suprema Avalando Ley SB1070

La comunidad debe organizarse para que la codificación del discrimen sea un revés temporal

Los Angeles — Este jueves, el Tribunal Supremo de Estados Unidos dio a conocer el fallo acerca de la legalidad de la ley SB1070, una de las primeras leyes estatales que busca arremeter contra los inmigrantes indocumentados que residen en Arizona.  Con esta decisión la Corte Suprema le da carta blanca a Arizona para que codifique el perfilamiento racial.  Como consecuencia miles y miles de personas, incluyendo a residentes legales permanentes y ciudadanos estadounidenses, caerán presa de la cacería al azar de fuerzas anti-inmigrantes comandadas por el Sheriff Joe Arpaio que buscan imponer el sufrimiento, prejuicio, y exilio en familias enteras basándose en el color de la piel, lengua, forma de vestir, o etnia.  El siguiente es un comentario por Angélica Salas, directora ejecutiva de la Coalición pro Derechos del Inmigrante en Los Angeles (CHIRLA por sus siglas en inglés).

“El fallo de hoy marca un día negro para la justicia en la historia de Estados Unidos.  Con un sólo manotazo, el Tribunal Supremo ha coincidido con Arizona y establecido que el perfilamiento racial es una herramienta aceptable para el uso de las fuerzas del orden.

La historia de este país está salpicada con injusticias posibles porque las cortes judiciales ignoraron doctrinas discriminatorias, divisivas, y canallas.  La codificación de la segregación racial, exclusión de mujeres al voto, exterminio de indígenas estadounidenses, encierro de minorías étnicas, y exilio de trabajadores del campo, sólo por mencionar algunas, ha sido posible porque las cortes lo permitieron sin ningún remordimiento.  Sin ir muy lejos:  casi en la misma semana cuando el Congreso finalmente pidiera disculpas por aprobar la Ley de Exclusión de Chinos de 1882 la  cual consagró en los estatutos de ley la discriminación basándose en la etnia y nacionalidad de una persona, el tribunal supremo deshonrosamente vira hacia un abismo similar.

Pero la historia de esta nación también incluye momentos cuando la gente de bien se levanta y exige el cambio, logrando que este país sea mucho más grande por ello.  Ahora, le toca a la comunidad inmigrantes y a sus aliados hacer historia y lograr el cambio.  Que no quepa ninguna duda.  Así como la semilla de la desigualdad y discrimen engendra pasiones ciegas; nuestro derecho a proteger nuestras libertades civiles más elementales engendra conciencia y movilizaciones masivas a las urnas.  Ningún cuerpo legislativo debe asumir que el fallo de hoy es permanente.  Nosotros estamos en el lado correcto de la historia y ganarnos el respeto, dignidad, y trato ecuánime bajo la ley es cuestión de “cuándo” no de “acaso”.

Estados como California pueden liderar en momentos como estos remando contra corriente y erigiendo “paredes de auxilio” como la propuesta de ley TRUST Act (AB1081) que impediría que el programa Comunidades Seguras se implemente impunemente en el estado.  Por otra parte la Casa Blanca puede: a) enviar expertos en derechos civiles a Arizona y Alabama y rigurosamente hacer valer las leyes que nos protegen de abusos; b) cumplir con la promesa de aplicar discreción fiscal de manera consistente, duradera, y justa para que nuestras familias no sean cruelmente separadas; c) eliminar el programa “Comunidades Seguras” ya que da paso al perfilamiento racial y confunde las prioridades de la policía local; y, d) colaborar de forma insistente con el Congreso para que se proteja permanentemente a los jóvenes Dreamers y a las familias inmigrantes que tanto contribuyen a esta gran nación”.



Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
Fight for Civil Rights Continues despite Supreme Court’s
Disgraceful Ruling on Anti-immigrant Law SB1070

Communities everywhere must organize to make codification of intolerance a temporary setback

Los Angeles — On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States of America announced its decision on the legality of SB1070, one of the first and ugliest anti-immigrant laws in the country.  The High Court’s ruling makes it possible for Arizona to codify racial profiling by allowing the “show me your papers” provision to be implemented.  Thousands upon thousands of people will fall prey to fishing expeditions by anti-immigrant forces led by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and inflict suffering, prejudice, and even exile on people based on the color of skin, language, dress code, or ethnicity even if a person was born in the United States.  The following is a statement by Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional organization with national impact focused on immigrant and civil rights.

“Today’s ruling marks a dark day for justice in the history of the United States of America.  In one sweep, the Supreme Court has sided with Arizona and allowed racial profiling as an acceptable law enforcement tool.

The history of our country is riddled with injustices made possible through an extreme minority’s justification of discriminatory, divisive, and callous decrees.  The codification of segregation, exclusion from voting, Trail of Tears, encampment of ethnic minorities, and exile of whole class of workers, to give but a few examples, was made federal statute because the courts allowed it without remorse.  On the same week that the US Congress finally apologized for approving the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which enshrined ethnicity and nationality discrimination into law, the highest court in the land has shamefully swerved to the edge of a similar abyss.

But our nation’s history is also one where people of good will stood up and pressed for change, making us a better people for it.  Now, it is up to the immigrant community and its allies to change history.

Let there be no mistake about it.  Just as the seeds of unfairness and bigotry beget blind passions; our right to protect our basic civil liberties should beget active civic engagement and massive community mobilization.   No one legislative body should assume that today’s ruling will stand for long.  The court challenges will continue as we are certain racial profiling is unconstitutional. We are on the right side of history and winning respect, dignity, and equal treatment under the law is a matter of “when” not “if”.

States like California can lead and go against the anti-immigrant tide by erecting firewalls to racial profiling, including legislative mandates, such as the TRUST Act (AB1081), that keep “Secure Communities” from snatching workers and families.  The Obama Administration can also engage with those communities most likely to be impacted by today’s decision.  The White House should:  a) Send civil rights monitors to states that legalize discrimination and aggressively enforce civil rights laws across the country; b) Make good on the promise of prosecutorial discretion by providing real, fair, and consistent relief to families and workers threatened with separation; and, d) Stop “Secure Communities” the DHS program that encourages racial profiling and outsources federal enforcement priorities to local police; and, d) Work with Congress to permanently protect DREAMers, young people and students who are American in all but paperwork.”



[PARA DETALLES EN ESPANOL, FAVOR VER AQUI]  On Tuesday, CHIRLA thanked President Obama, the Dream-campaign participants throughout the United States, and the families of the students who have struggled for so long to bravely come 

out of the shadows as immigrant Americans.  

On Friday, June 15, President Obama announced that effectively immediately, young immigrants who arrived to the US before their 16th birthday, are younger than 31 years of age, and have lived continuously in the country during the past five years, will receive immigration relief and a work permit.  The process to apply has not been described but DHS and USCIS have announced that more is to come in approximately 60 days.

At a well-attended press event with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, CHIRLA informed parents and students about the directive's general requirements, encouraged families and students to begin documenting their stay in the United States, and cautioned that unscrupolous attorneys and notarios may prey on them with dishonest promises.  No one should submit any paperwork for now.  No waiting-list exists and no one can get ahead of the line for a special price.  

The press event was hosted by CHIRLA and immigrant attorneys Victor Nieblas (AILA) and Jessica Dominguez (LA Family Unity Commission) were available to answer legal questions. More than 40 dreamers were available to share their stories with press outlets who attended.

Below, some pictures from Tuesday's press event.