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Policy & Advocacy

Policy advocacy is a key component of any effort to bring about systemic change. Pressing for federal, state and local immigration policies that promote and protect the human and civil rights of immigrants has always been a critical part of the work of the staff, members, volunteers and community partners of CHIRLA. Whether it’s visiting and educating legislators or administrative agencies, empowering community members to civically engage, or researching and tracking changes in immigration law, CHIRLA’s advocacy work continues to be a progressive voice that promotes economic justice for immigrants in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

CHIRLA’s Policy and Advocacy Program is divided into three key areas: Federal, State and Local Policy and Advocacy.

Under its Federal work, CHIRLA advocates for humane and comprehensive immigration reform along with its national and regional networks. Other than working towards immigration reform at the national level, CHIRLA also works on specific issues such as detention, due process and policy advocacy geared towards challenging anti-immigrant legislation.

CHIRLA’s State Policy work aims to address and advocate for major immigrant access issues and immigrant workers rights. As part of the California Immigrant Policy Center, the State Policy Advocate works closely with the collaborative partners' policy staff to discuss and develop recommendations, alerts, and policy pieces for dissemination to policy makers. In addition, the State Policy Advocate conducts policy research and monitors legislation impacting immigrant rights and conditions.

A more focused Local Policy work is CHIRLA’s latest attempt to address the heightened trend towards local enforcement – a trend the US government justifies as necessary in order to address the vacuum left by the absence of genuine and comprehensive immigration reform. Over and above local enforcement issues, CHIRLA also works towards the creation of local policies and regulations that are aimed at protecting the rights of immigrants, facilitating their access to services available to them in Los Angeles and assisting them in fully integrating into American society. The Local Policy Advocate works with CHIRLA’s Southern California partners and networks in pursuing these goals.


  • Broadens pathways for people to enter the country legally to work and reunite with their families
  • Provide accessible path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
  • Combines measures with smart enforcement that improves safety, supports legal immigration channels, and prevents discrimination
  • Achieves successful integration of immigrants into our society


In November 2014, President Barack Obama issued a set of executive actions on immigration and expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. These programs would allow millions of immigrants to come out of the shadows, receive protection from deportation and a work permit. However, before said programs were to be implemented, the state of Texas, along with 25 other states, filed a lawsuit against these motions and on February 2015, a federal district court in Texas issues a nationwide order that placed DACA expanded and DAPA on hold. Since then, the Obama Administration filed to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of the United States. Today, the case is referred to as United States, et al v. Texas, et al and oral arguments are expected to begin on April 18, 2005. For more information and future developments of the case, please click here. (https://www.nilc.org/issues/litigation/texasvustimeline/)


In June 2012, President Barack Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to provide a reprieve from deportation and work permits to people who arrived in the U.S. as children and meet certain other requirements. Those who meet the requirements for the existing DACA program may continue to apply and renew their application. For more information, please click here. (https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca)

Once again, with a united front and a growing, empowered Latino and immigrant electoral block, we were able to accomplish quite a few things in the policy arena here at CHIRLA. Let's review what a fantastic year this was as we continue to make California the most immigrant-friendly state in the nation.


Washington D.C. - After years of advocacy, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced proposed changes to their Naturalization fees.


Sacramento - On Friday, February 11, 2016, California State Senator Connie M. Leyva introduced the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, SB 1015, which would grant overtime protections to California's privately hired domestic workers by removing the 2017 sunset provision and making the law's provisions permanent.