The Haas, Jr. Fund believes that California must lead the way in protecting and advancing the rights of America’s newest residents and ensuring that they have equal opportunities and an equal voice. Yet, immigrants living in California today face a range of challenges that keep them from participating fully in their communities and the larger society.
The Haas, Jr. Fund is supporting California’s immigrant advocates as they strive to educate the public and their elected representatives about the need for changes in state and local policies. Together with a range of partners, we are working to: advance a unified approach to public education and outreach on these issues; strengthen immigrant rights organizations and coalitions so they can work together more effectively; and change the tenor of public discourse to highlight the positive contributions of immigrants in the state.
The Fund is working with its partners to seek progress on three state and local policy issues that have emerged as priorities in immigrant communities:
- Increasing education access and financial aid for undocumented students. California is home to millions of young people who were brought to this country by undocumented parents. The Fund is working with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) to strengthen student organizing and public education about the need for expanded education access for these current and future students - so they can get an affordable higher education and contribute to the economy and society.
- Supporting more humane and fair immigration enforcement policies. Immigrant communities across the state are concerned and fearful about civil rights violations connected to immigration enforcement. The Fund is currently working with the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) to develop a campaign aimed at educating the general public and policymakers about the need for wide-ranging enforcement reforms. Other partners in this work include Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Immigrant Law Center.
- Protecting immigrant programs in the state budget. The Fund is supporting a coalition led by the California Immigrant Policy Center that aims to ensure that immigrants are not unjustly singled out as lawmakers strive to address the state budget crisis. Among the priorities: protecting important safety-net programs that provide food and cash assistance for low-income immigrant families.