The gang of eight in the U.S. Senate took a major step forward, despite scenarios that doomed prospects of a bipartisan push to overhaul immigration laws this year. On Monday, June 24, the immigration reform bill added amendments around border security and enforcement measures, securing enough votes to prevent any filibuster. Then before the end of that week the full bill was taken up on the Senate floor, with 100 Senators seated in their chairs --- a move reserved for historic votes.
Al Hernandez-Santana is director of policy for the California State Rural Health Association and former executive director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, platforms where he has led on mental health issues, chronic disease, disparities in health, and health coverage for the uninsured. He is co-author of a report funded by The California Endowment, conducting an ethnic health assessment of Latinos in the state.
From 2001 to 2008, he represented the California Catholic Conference in the state capitol and served as Regional Coordinator for Hispanic Affairs in the Far West (CA, Nevada, Hawaii). Al participated in fair trade missions with Catholic Relief Services and has traveled extensively to Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico—presenting at an International Conference on Immigration (Honduras), the USCCB Migration Dept (Las Cruces, NM), and to a national congress by the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (Notre Dame). He has prior work experience in the California State Assembly’s Committee on the Judiciary and as a Fellow for Economic Justice at Consumers Union in San Francisco.
Mr. Hernandez-Santana is of Puerto Rican descent, earned his law degree from the University of California’s Hastings School of Law (1995), and a Master of City Planning from the Univ. of California at Berkeley (1995). He is an Army veteran, serving with distinction as a captain and one NATO tour of duty in Greece. He has appeared on CNN, Univision, newscasts, radio shows, and is quoted extensively in the Spanish and English media.
Al Hernandez-Santana is married to Santosh, has two daughters and lives in Sacramento, CA.