For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Receives Outstanding American by Choice Recognition
LOS ANGELES — Today, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) honored community leader Antonia Hernández as an “Outstanding American by Choice” at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Hernández, a former civil rights attorney for many years, has demonstrated her commitment to social justice and civic engagement for over four decades in Los Angeles County and Southern California. Currently serving as President and CEO of the California Community Foundation, she guides the foundation in its mission to lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles communities.
“Critical impact is the definition of Antonia Hernández’s imprint on our world,” said Deputy Secretary Mayorkas. “For more than three decades she has dedicated herself to improving the lives of others, ensuring that the underserved receive the rights and opportunities to which they are entitled in a fair and just society. She is an Outstanding American by Choice.”
Born in Torreón, Mexico, Hernández was 8 years old when she came to the United States and settled with her family in East Los Angeles. She became a U.S. citizen 41 years ago. Previously, Hernández was president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a national nonprofit litigation and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of the nation’s Latinos through the legal system, community education, and research and policy initiatives.
Throughout each year, USCIS recognizes individuals who chose to become Americans and have made significant contributions to both their community and the United States. Since 2006, the Outstanding American by Choice initiative has recognized nearly 130 men and women from a variety of backgrounds and nearly all sectors of society. Recipients represent more than 40 countries, including Afghanistan, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Germany, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, South Korean, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain and Vietnam. For more information about the Outstanding American by Choice initiative visit www.USCIS.gov/americansbychoice.