Since its creation, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) has worked as an immigrant advocacy group with Southern California’s Los Angeles County. The group provides job-skills training, union organizing, voter registration, and research to challenge anti-immigrant stereotypes. A DVD it produced,Know Your Rights!, has become a popular tool among members of immigrant communities.
As the center of a vibrant culture, sprawling Los Angeles County boasts a history full of ethnic diversity drawn from immigrants all over the world. These immigrants and their families have historically faced housing, job, and wage discrimination, and inability to communicate fluently in English has inhibited the ability of many immigrants to assert their rights. CHIRLA was founded to bridge the gap between immigrants and those employing them. Its purpose is to advocate fair wages, increased employment and education opportunities, and the end of negative immigrant stereotypes.
CHIRLA was built on the collaboration of several immigrant-rights lobbying and law groups. These included the
Through the implementation of what it calls its California Dream Network, CHIRLA worked alongside other organizations on a movement to pass legislation for undocumented students to pay resident-student tuition rates in California public colleges and universities. Under the title of Proposition AB540, this legislation became law on October 11, 2001. CHIRLA also created a group for student activists, called the
In 2001, California governor Gray Davis signed AB540 into law, allowing thousands of students access to affordable college education. CHIRLA also worked alongside the
CHIRLA has also represented female
CHIRLA maintains that domestic workers are an intimate and valued part of American family life and, as such, should be protected with full rights under the law. The Household Workers program often holds rallies to promote public awareness of domestic workers’ rights.
CHIRLA has been criticized by anti-immigration groups for its creation and maintenance of a support program for
Groups such as the
Buiza, Cynthia, ed. Beyond Myths and Stereotypes: Facts About Immigration and Crime. Los Angeles: CHIRLA, 2008. Pamphlet that debunks stereotypes of immigrants as criminals. _______. Local Law Enforcement and Immigration: The 287(g) Program in Southern California. Los Angeles: CHIRLA, 2008. Pamphlet underscoring the failures of law enforcement in regard to section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 in Southern California. Garr, Robin. Reinvesting in America: The Grassroots Movements That Are Feeding the Hungry, Housing the Homeless, and Putting Americans Back to Work. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Longman, 1995. Analysis of community service organizations in the United States that provides background information on CHIRLA.
Born in East L.A.
Captive Thai workers
Farm and migrant workers
Immigrant aid organizations
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986