Cesar Vargas is a nationally recognized leader at the forefront of the fight for immigration reform and the DREAM Act. Mr. Vargas was the National Latino Outreach Strategist for Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. He has been recognized as one of Huffington Post’s “Prominent Latinos in American Politics”. 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 from the City University of New York School of Law, 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 been key players in the policy battle for a better immigration policy. His advocacy and story helped in the national efforts to convince President Obama to take executive action to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a much needed program 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, volunteered at clinics to help immigrants know their rights, counsels military families dealing with immigration issues, and provides pro-bono representation to children facing deportation in immigration court. The well-known immigrant rights activist was recently brought on board by NY1 a New York cable television station to run a weekly segment answering questions from public on immigration law. Mr. Vargas is a frequent guest as a political commentator on CNN, MSNBC, FOXNews, Univision, Telemundo.
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. In February of 2016, he was finally sworn-in as a licensed attorney making history as the first undocumented lawyer to openly apply to the state of New York.