Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

aka CHIRLA   |   Los Angeles, CA   |


CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants. CHIRLA organizes and serves individuals, institutions and coalitions to build power, transform public opinion, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Angelica Salas

Main address

2533 W. 3RD Street, Suite 101 Ste 101

Los Angeles, CA 90057-1096 USA

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Formerly known as

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles



NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

CHIRLA is an immigrant rights advocate dedicated to the elimination of migration legal status as a factor that limits the civil and constitutional rights and protections of mixed-status immigrant families, low-wage workers, and youth.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Civic Engagement

CHIRLA’s Civic Engagement Program provides education for new and infrequent immigrant voters in Los Angeles, and in the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys. CHIRLA’s program is unique in that it engages immigrants of all status in a Civic Engagement Pipeline. This program contacted 127,274 low-propensity Latino voters and 11,209 new voters and new American voters in the June and November General elections of 2016.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

CHIRLA educates immigrant workers and students to know their rights and to protect them. CHIRLA provides one-on-one instruction to Day Laborers at 15 Los Angeles area corners and to Household Workers at 10 local bus stops. CHIRLA Organizers talk to 350-500 workers per week about worker rights and how to protect themselves against wage theft and other worker rights violations.

Population(s) Served

CHIRLA is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to provide immigration legal services at low-cost to its members. All legal staff and volunteers at CHIRLA are supervised by licensed attorneys, BIA-accredited representatives, Juris Doctors, and trained paralegals. Our Legal Services Department has helped thousands of individuals to become citizens, reunite with their families and apply to become a DACA beneficiary. As of this writing it is one of only 3 legal services providers in the Los Angeles area that is continuing to provide DACA services to immigrant youth, seeing 25-30 clients per week and educating about 350 per month.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Ethnic and racial groups

The ongoing fight to win immigration reform depends on the leadership of those directly impacted by our broken immigration system. For this reason, CHIRLA members organize their communities to harness the power of their collective voices. Over the course of many years, our Organizing Department has applied the principles of community organizing leadership development models, strategies and tactics. WIth a robust and broad spectrum of our organized membership, CHIRLA is able to coordinate actions across the state to win pro-immigrant policies that make a difference in the lives of our members.

At the moment, CHIRLA's organizing bases are concentrated in the Antelope Valley, Central Valley, Downtown Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Fernando Valley. Our Youth Organizing focuses on high school students through the Wise Up Program and on college students through the California Dream Network. Our capacity to bring the stories of immigrants of all ages up to the forefront of the immigrant rights movement exemplifies our commitment for true grassroots organizing to win.

Population(s) Served
Migrant workers

CHIRLA works in coalition at the local, state and national level to win policies that improve the lives of immigrants.

Population(s) Served
Migrant workers

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

For over 33 years, CHIRLA's organization's goal has been to create a more just society fully inclusive of immigrants. CHIRLA’s project seeks to engage mixed-status immigrant families, low-wage workers and immigrant students through community education and outreach, organizing, legal services, civic engagement, policy and advocacy, coalition building, and leadership development for youth. CHIRLA’s programs have supported the immigrant community to learn how to use their voice and experiences to educate their community and elected officials about policies that most impact their lives. Through its work, CHIRLA has uplifted immigrants and refugees by ensuring communities across the United States understand the value that immigrants bring economically, socially, and culturally.

CHIRLA organizes and serves individuals, institutions, and coalitions to build power, transform public opinion, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights. CHIRLA empowers immigrants through innovative programming in community education, community organizing, legal services, civic engagement, policy and advocacy, and leadership development for youth.

CHIRLA’s strategies include:
● Organizing immigrants and their families;
● Building a strong multi-ethnic, multi-sector, multi-regional coalition;
● Engaging new citizen and allied voters in year-round civic engagement activities;
● Coordinating direct actions and protests to ensure that immigrant voices are heard and needs are met.
● Transforming public opinion to recognize the positive contributions of immigrant communities and to help foster a positive social and political environment for immigrants and their families.

CHIRLA is a California leader with national impact made of diverse immigrant families and individuals who act as agents of social change. As a membership-based organization, CHIRLA’s unique role in the field is its capacity to combine mass grassroots organizing of immigrant families, workers and youth with sophisticated policy and advocacy at the local, state and national level. Immigrants play a leadership role in all aspects of our organization and many member leaders have become key leaders within the organization. CHIRLA has a comprehensive approach to its programs in organizing, community education and outreach, legal services, civic engagement and policy and advocacy. For over 33 years, CHIRLA has been working with and from an immigrant base, to: advocate for rights and integration; educate elected officials about important issue impacting the lives of families, youth and workers at the local, state and national level; and implement and offer direct-service programs that support the immigrant community. CHIRLA is also a coalition builder, an organizer, a policy advocate, and a direct-service provider, all in one. Below is a list of national, state and local partners/coalitions that CHIRLA has been actively engaged with:

● National: Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Reform Immigration for America
(RIFA), Movement of Immigrants in America (MIA), Alliance for Citizenship (A4C), Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Black Immigrant Network, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Equal Voices Campaign, Employment, Education, and Outreach (EMPLEO), We Are All America campaign, African Public Health Coalition, Leadership Conference on Civic and Human Rights, National Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Alliance.

● State: The California Table for Immigration Reform (convener), Blueprint for Belonging, California Domestic Workers Coalition (CDWC), Census Policy Advocacy Network (CPAN), Having Our Say Coalition, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV), Rockwood Fellowship for a New California, Million Voter Project (MVP), Ready California.

● Local: LA Action Table (convener), Cities for Citizenship (C4C), May Day Coalition, Korean Immigrant Workers Association (KIWA), Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network (MIWON), Los Angeles Citizenship Task Force, Los Angeles Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Task Force, Protegete, Ciudadania Ya! The Los Angeles, Progressive Coalition (steering committee member).

CHIRLA has accomplished its organizational goal of transforming California into the current model state for immigrant integration in the nation. CHIRLA’s work has resulted in historic wins for the immigrant community to access legal protections, worker rights resources, drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, and in-state tuition for AB 540 students. CHIRLA’s long- term goal will be to lead a national coalition of civil rights organizations, faith, labor, and business to win comprehensive immigration reform. Comprehensive immigration reform means reuniting families, expanding labor and civil rights protections, modernizing existing immigration programs, and providing a just pathway to earn U.S. citizenship.

CHIRLA past program accomplishments include:

● Legal Services: CHIRLA has submitted 10,491 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications and renewal applications, which represents one of the highest numbers submitted in California.
● Civic Engagement: CHIRLA’s Immigrant Political Power (IPP) Project is the largest low-propensity Latinx and New American voter engagement program in California. During the 2018 Primary and General elections, the IPP Project reached 239,824 low-propensity (an individual who has voted 1-3 times in the last 6 elections) Latino voters.
● Community Education & Outreach: Between 2017 and 2019, CHIRLA reached 165,021 individuals through 1,566 Know Your Rights (KYR) presentations, including 8,992 CHIRLA’s hotline calls. CHIRLA conducted a mass community education campaign providing bilingual information, including in-person community presentations with detailed PowerPoint slides; KYR flyers, which include information about the steps to take if a person is detained by ICE; and assisting with family plans or caregiver affidavits to prepare a family in case of a potential deportation. CHIRLA also re-launched its online KYR Hub including videos, flyers and KYR cards.
● Organizing: In 2019, CHIRLA mobilized a total of 19,306 individuals through marches, rallies, press conferences, presentations, retreats, and visits to Sacramento to educate elected officials about their experiences and stories. In addition, CHIRLA’s youth program supported 1,460 mixed-status immigrant youth to organize walk-outs to defend the DACA program; and coordinated the participation of 120 youth to visit Washington D.C., facilitating their ability to share their stories about the DREAM Act.
● Policy & Advocacy: CHIRLA’s advocacy work have successfully resulted in local, state and national programs that better the lives of immigrant families. Our Policy team has successfully advocated to establish legal protections for undocumented immigrants such as the Los Angeles Justice Fund, provided state funding for legal immigration services through the One California program, and helped educate elected officials to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at the national level.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,


Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Board of directors
as of 6/2/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Ester Hernandez

California State University, Los Angeles

Felipe Escobar

Pacoima Beautiful

Ester Hernandez

California State University, Los Angeles

Liliana Perez

Los Angeles Chargers

Alejandra Marchevsky

California State University, Los Angeles

Adriana Aguilar

Community and Economic Development Specialist

Taryn Watanabe Fordes

Consultant Cause-Related Consulting

Sam Jammal

Regulatory and Policy Advocate

Rigoberto Valdez, Jr.

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union UFCW Local 770

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/02/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/02/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.