The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund supports public education about the need for comprehensive immigration reform. We’re working to strengthen immigrant rights organizations so they can make a powerful case for reform that offers a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who are currently living and working in the shadows of American society.
Today, at least 12 million immigrants in the United States, including nearly three million in California alone, live in constant fear of deportation – unable to report crimes, seek services or participate in community life. Millions of children who are U.S. citizens are growing up in mixed-status families, unsure if their parents will be able to remain in the United States. These individuals and their families face an array of challenges, from possible exploitation at work to lack of access to education.
The Haas, Jr. Fund was one of the first foundations to get involved in supporting the movement for comprehensive immigration reform. We were an early investor in the Four Freedoms Fund, the national funding collaborative for the immigration movement. In addition, we have supported many of the key organizations educating the public about the need for reform, while at the same time investing in California-based immigrant groups working on this issue.
The Fund has adopted three strategies in this work:
- Support a unified approach to building the immigrant rights movement among major funders. The Haas, Jr. Fund is working to strengthen the movement for comprehensive reform by collaborating with other funders to support a coordinated national public education effort.
- Connect national and state advocacy. The Haas, Jr. Fund is supporting the work of California immigrant rights organizations to play an integral role in the movement for reform in Washington and to represent the state’s interests in the national debate.
- Prepare California for the passage of reform. The Haas, Jr. Fund is working with our nonprofit, government and philanthropic partners to develop a coordinated plan for legalizing immigrants in California and implementing other facets of reform in the state.