Angelica Salas

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Angelica Salas


In 2010, when leaders of the immigrant rights movement met with President Barack Obama in the White House, Angelica Salas challenged the president’s claim that his administration was focusing on deporting criminals and other security threats. “No, Mr. President, that’s not what’s happening,” Salas told Obama. “You’re deporting heads of households, mothers and fathers. Young people are sitting in detention centers when they should be sitting in the best universities in the country.”

Last year, Obama agreed to suspend the deportation of, and grant work permits to, the young “dreamers” who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

Salas, the 42-year-old executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), has been a potent force in the struggle for comprehensive immigration reform. One of the national movement’s key strategists, she is a powerful speaker, a brilliant organizer and a remarkable coalition builder who works closely with unions, faith groups and students. She is no stranger to jail cells as a frequent participant in civil disobedience. She played a key role in several recent major victories in California, including bills allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, prohibiting local police from turning over undocumented immigrants to federal officials for possible deportation and giving undocumented college students access to public financial aid.

Salas views her job as “telling stories” — giving voice to the immigrants whose lives are often ignored or misreported. She sees her own story in those lives; she was smuggled into the country at age five by her 14-year-old aunt. They were caught and sent back to Mexico, but they made it across the border on a second try. The family was torn apart again when federal officials raided the sweatshop where her mother worked and deported her. They were eventually reunited in Los Angeles, where Salas grew up. She joined CHIRLA after finishing Occidental College and became director of the group in 1999.

Salas and CHIRLA have established day-laborer job centers, registered more than 75,000 new immigrant voters and led the fight for in-state tuition for undocumented students. Much of CHIRLA’s work involves what Salas calls “handing the baton” — recruiting and training the next generation of activists.[1]

The Next Agenda Conference

Progressive LA: The Next Agenda Conference was held On October 20, 2001 in Los Angeles at the California Science Center.

The Progressive Los Angeles Network (PLAN) and the Institute for America’s Future "will co-sponsor an important conference -- the Next Agenda Conference -- designed to celebrate recent victories, build upon Los Angeles’ progressive momentum, and link local issues with a national progressive agenda. The conference will also help solidify a more strategic and integrated progressive movement in Los Angeles".

Speakers included Angelica Salas, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles[2]

National Leading From the Inside Out Alum

Angelica Salas, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, was a 2006 Rockwood Leadership Institute National Leading From the Inside Out Alum.[3]

Here to stay rally

Rally and musical and art performances on Saturday, January 14, 2017, starting at 11 a.m. at 501 North Main St, 90012, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes next to La Placita, Los Angeles.

Join us to stand up for the values of love, compassion and family as we begin a campaign of righteous resistance. We will join hands and stand together to oppose criminalization, mass deportations, and hate crimes. We are #HereToStay and we shall not be moved.

Speakers include: California State Controller Betty Yee; Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez; Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer, City of Los Angeles; Angelica Salas, CHIRLA; Rusty Hicks, LAC Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Laphonza Butler, SEIU; Arlene Inouye, UTLA; and Tom Steyer, Next Gen Climate.

Hosted by (partial list):

African Coalition, Black Immigrant Network (BIN), Bend the Arc, California Dream Network (CDN), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Center for Community Change (CCC), Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Human Rights Campaign, Korean Resource Center (KRC), Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Mi Familia Vota National Immigration Law Center, NextGen California, SEIU California, SEIU 721, SEIU 2015, SEIU UHWW, SEIU USWW, UCLA Dream Center, UNITE HERE, UTLA[4]

She the People 2018 Summit

She the People's three-year initiative kicked off with its inaugural She the People Summit on September 20, 2018 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. The sold-out, first-ever national summit of women of color in politics drew nearly 600 attendees, mostly women of color, from 36 states.

Speakers included Angelica Salas.


  1. & COMPANY. Activists to Watch: Angelica Salas October 24, 2013 by Peter Dreier
  2. [Announce Oct. 20: Progressive LA Conference announce-admin at announce-admin at Tue Oct 16 10:22:22 CDT 2001]
  3. [1]
  4. [2]