Carlos Santana

Job title: 
Class of 2025
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Ken Burt Fellow

Carlos is a first-generation Latinx student at UC Berkeley, majoring in political science with a minor in Chicanx Latinx studies. Born and raised in the California Central Valley, he is the son and grandson of farmworkers. His paternal grandfather was in the temporary agricultural worker program known as the Bracero Program, and first came to the United States in 1952. His maternal grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s, and were fieldworkers before finding jobs as cannery workers in Thornton and Lodi, CA. His family history and passion for public service inspire Carlos to focus on the intersections of immigration, agriculture, and labor policy.

Carlos’ current work for the UC Berkeley Latinx Research Center (LRC) is centered on farmworkers’ rights and policy. He is an Undergraduate Research Apprentice for the LRC’s Democracy + Media Lab Project. His research focuses on Latinx and Indigenous farmworkers’ political and social mobilization in the North Bay Area, specifically Napa and Sonoma valleys. As an apprentice, he works closely with activists and scholars specializing in workers’ and Indigenous rights.

Carlos has previously done work for local government as well. In summer 2023, he worked as a Policy Intern for the City of Berkeley in the Office of Mayor Jesse Arreguín. As an intern, he conducted outreach for United Against Hate (UAH) week, a Northern California anti-hate initiative. He also analyzed hate crime data reports provided by the CA State Attorney General’s Office and presented his findings before a group of elected officials from Northern California cities. In the area of policymaking, he supported the mayor’s Senior Advisor in creating a pro-immigration policy package for the city. His research for the package focused on addressing wage theft and discrimination experienced by migrant workers, access to government and social services, mutual aid, and civic engagement.

As a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow, Carlos hopes to advocate for Latinx and Indigenous migrant farmworker communities throughout California. He is particularly interested in learning about the foundations of California politics and experiencing state policymaking and governance up close and on the ground in Sacramento. He aspires to establish a career in public service and plans to attend law school. Carlos was also named a Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Scholar in summer 2023 and was named part of the Dean’s Honors List for the College of Letters and Sciences for spring 2023.

Research interests: 

Major(s): Political Science

Minor(s): Chicanx Latinx Studies