Cesar Vargas is currently the National Latino Outreach strategist for the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign and a nationally recognized leader and innovator at the forefront of the fight for immigration reform and the DREAM Act. Cesar was brought to New York from Mexico at age 5 after his father passed away. He excelled academically and was an honors student in both college and law school. As an undocumented law graduate, he led the fight for equal opportunity and access to the practice of law.
Cesar works at the heart of the DREAMer movement, the most-vigorous pro-immigrant push by the advocacy communities to date. Nationwide and on Capitol Hill, Cesar and his organization he co-founded, the Dream Action Coalition, have taken the gloves off in the policy battle for a better immigration policy. His advocacy and story helped in the national efforts to convince President Obama to broaden opportunities for millions of undocumented by expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), much needed programs in light of congressional inaction on immigration reform. Mr. Vargas has also educated immigrants across the country on their rights, spoken on behalf of his community at congressional hearings, and volunteered at clinics to help young undocumented immigrants apply for administrative relief. He has also appeared in Immigration Court as a friend of the Court on behalf of children facing deportation.
Cesar applied to join the New York bar in 2012, but the Second Department’s Committee on Character and Fitness recommended against his application because of his immigration status. In June, 2015, and after nearly three-years legal battle, a five-judge panel in New York ruled that Cesar can be admitted to practice law in the state he has called home for most of his life. On February, 3, he was finally sworn-in as a licensed attorney making history as the first undocumented lawyer to openly apply and admitted to the New York State Bar.