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 in collaboration with national and regional networks, while also working on specific issues such as detention, due process and policy advocacy geared towards challenging anti-immigrant legislation.
The Golden State is home to the biggest population of immigrants and, while California has enacted landmark legislation to support immigrants in our state, it has not created a comprehensive approach to ensure that immigrant populations are part of the civic and economic aspects of life. The lack of a comprehensive, workable and humane immigration reform coupled with a fragmented approach to integrate immigrants into our state has resulted in lack of full participation of the immigrant community and, in the loss of revenue for the state. CHIRLA seeks to make California a pro-immigrant and model state for the rest of the nation. Furthermore, we envision a state in which a comprehensible approach is established to integrate immigrants in our state to provide economic opportunities to this population.
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.