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Gloria Meneses Sandoval

Secretary of Immigration
Branch: Justice
Current Location: Merced, California
Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Gloria Meneses Sandoval born in the border town of Nogales, Arizona to Mexican immigrant parents. Her first language was Spanish, and English remains her second language. Her family migrated to Los Angeles and LA became her home.  While in high school in east Los Angeles, an African-American teacher helped Meneses Sandoval to apply to UCLA, she attended there 1967 through 1973.  She was among the first generation of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) activists and became the first woman MEChA chairperson at UCLA in 1970. She was also a participant and leader in the Chicano Moratorium of 1970 and the grape and lettuce boycott campaigns of the the United Farm Workers.

Since relocating to California's Central Valley later in the 1970s, Meneses Sandoval has been continuously active on issues of immigration, criminalization of the poor, and public education. She has fought to end undocumented farm worker drownings after Border Patrol raids in the agricultural fields and she has helped to stop separation of families by ICE. Meneses-Sandoval is the President of the California Central Valley Journey for Justice and a Board member of Women’s Economic Agenda Project, most recently taking part in the the First West Coast World Courts of Women in May 2012.  She writes for various newspapers including the Tribuno del Pueblo, People’s Tribune and Fresno-based Community Alliance.