Promoting the full economic, social and civic integration of immigrants long has been one of the touchstones of the Rosenberg Foundation’s commitment to human rights.
Immigrants are vital to our state and local economies and communities. California and the nation are projected to undergo significant changes in population in the coming decades. According to Census data, Latinos comprise 37.7 percent of the state's population, Asian's comprise 13.% percent, and more than half of the state’s children are Latino. An estimated 10 million Californians are immigrants. The future of California relies on building strong, empowered and fully engaged immigrant communities.
The Rosenberg Foundation has worked with our grant partners to ensure that immigrant populations are part of the civic and economic life of our state through a multi-pronged strategy that includes supporting grassroots advocacy, uplifting emerging leaders in underserved communities, enforcing voting and language rights, and strengthening the communications capacity of immigrant rights advocates.
Currently, the Foundation is focused on the following priorities to advance immigrant rights and integration:
Justice for farm workers: Supporting the state’s farm workers has been a focus of the Rosenberg Foundation’s efforts since the 1950s, when it made one of its first grants in this area to a citizens’ group on the west side of Fresno County to establish seasonal clinics for children of farm workers. The project would later become a model for a statewide effort and ultimately a national health program. The Foundation continues to support organizations that are on the frontlines of fighting for farm workers’ civil and human rights in California. Key strategies that the Foundation has invested in include advocacy to support a pathway to legalization for farm workers, strengthening labor protections for agricultural guest workers, and expanding labor and human rights, including decent wages and safe, non-exploitive working conditions.
Advancing immigrant workers’ rights: A vital part of the state’s economy, immigrants account for an estimated 37 percent of the labor force in California. The Foundation has long supported work at the intersection of economic equality and immigrant rights, investing in efforts to improve wages and conditions for day laborers, garment workers, restaurant workers and others through organizing, impact litigation and policy advocacy, among other strategies. Currently, the Foundation is focused on advancing the rights of domestic workers and carwash workers.
Building the capacity of California’s “Dream” movement: Dream youth are undocumented youth and young adults who were brought or sent to this country by their families as infants or children. California has been described as the epicenter for the Dream movement with a quarter of the nation’s Dreamers (over 500,000) and a majority of its leadership living in the state. California’s Dreamers have accomplished much with limited resources, including the successful enactment in 2011 of the California Dream Act, which provides state public funding for student grants and loans. Dream youth represent the future of the immigrant rights movement in California and a critical part of the immigrant rights advocacy infrastructure in the state. As such, the Rosenberg Foundation aims to help build the Dreamers’ capacity to engage on immigrant related policy issues in California both for the short- as well as long-term.