Rep. Garcia, Teen Advocate, New American Campaign Founding Funders Honored at 2021 Burton Awards Ceremony

(San Francisco, CA)—Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia, teen activist Crista Ramos, and the New American Campaign’s founding funders were honored at the 2021 Burton Awards for their work in the areas of policy, advocacy, and lawyering to significantly advance the civil rights of immigrants.

The awards ceremony, held on June 24, was the second year the event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Named after the late Congressman Phillip Burton, U.S. Representative from California (1964-1983), the awards recognize those who carry on Congressman Burton’s legacy in support of immigrant and human rights. You can watch the awards ceremony at this link.

“For 30 years, the Burton Awards have recognized the incredible work of advocates, policy leaders, and organizations for their tireless efforts on behalf of the immigrant community to make their lives better,” said ILRC Executive Director Eric Cohen. “This year’s honorees exemplify the spirit of the Burton Awards and the ILRC is proud to recognize their work.”

Congresswoman Garcia was the recipient of the 2021 Nancy Pelosi Award for Policy. During her first year in Congress, she played a critical role in the impeachment investigation against former President Donald Trump. She was selected as one of seven impeachment managers tasked with making the case to the American people and the Senate for the removal of Donald Trump as President of the United States. She is the first Latina and one of the first three women to ever serve as an impeachment manager in a presidential impeachment trial.  

Crista Ramos was the recipient of the 2021 Phillip Burton Award for Advocacy. Crista, 17, is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit Ramos v. Wolf. More than three years ago, former President Trump attempted to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Crista is a U.S. citizen daughter of a TPS recipient from El Salvador. In Ramos v. Wolf Crista represents over 250,000 U.S. citizen children of TPS recipients who, like her and her brother, are in danger of being separated from their parents. In the past four years, she has attended multiple marches around the country to bring awareness about TPS. She has met with many members of Congress to ask them to pass legislation that would grant a pathway to permanent residency for TPS recipients. 

The New American Campaign’s (NAC) founding funders were the recipient of the 2021 Phillip Burton Award for Immigration and Civil Rights:

  • Carnegie Corporation of New York, Geri Mannion
  • The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Cathy Cha
  • Emerson Collective, Kavitha Sreeharsha
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lilian Coral
  • The Grove Foundation, Leslie Dorosin and Sara Campos 
  • The Open Society Foundations, Evan Bacalao
  • The JPB Foundation, Angela Cheng 
  • The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Sue Van

Founded in 2011, the New Americans Campaign (NAC) helps people become United States citizens.  The NAC is the biggest and most effective naturalization collaboration in the history of the United States, consisting of over 200 national, local, and grassroot partners working in 20 metropolitan areas across the United States working to demystify the naturalization process and help people navigate and understand the naturalization system. NALEO Educational Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Immigration Advocates Network, the National Immigration Forum, the National Partnership for New Americans, Pro Bono Net, and International Rescue Committee joined the NAC as national partners with the ILRC in 2011.

The awards were created with the help of John L. Burton, former Chairman of the California Democratic Party. Phillip Burton’s brother, John Burton currently serves on the ILRC Advisory Board and was presented with the 2004 Phillip Burton Award for Lifetime Achievement in Immigration & Civil Rights. 


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. Follow us on Facebook at, and on Twitter and Instagram @the_ILRC