Esther Portillo-Gonzales is the daughter of migrants from El Salvador and was raised in the Pico-Union area in Los Angeles, the gateway for many migrants from Central America and Mexico. Esther comes to Families for Freedom with 11 years of community organizing experience that has enabled her to work on immigrant and worker rights issues and environmental justice with diverse communities in California and New York. In 2011, she was the Research Fellow at the Applied Research Center (ARC) and worked on the groundbreaking report, “Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of the Immigration Enforcement and Child Welfare System”. Earlier this year, she led organizing efforts to secure humanitarian parole for a deported father from Mexico who returned to the U.S. to fight for his parental rights, which were threatened as a result of his deportation.
Esther was also awarded the Petra Foundation fellowship, which recongnized her local and international human rights work. She is incredibly honored to be working with Families for Freedom, an organization she has supported for many years, and one she believes conducts some of the most compelling and critical work for the noncitizen communtiy in New York and beyond.