Roberto de la Rosa immigrated from Mexico to South Texas at the age of five and became a migrant farm worker in the 1950s. He settled in California in 1960, where he continued working in agriculture while pursuing his education and a keen interest in community activism.
De la Rosa is a "veterano del movimiento" (veteran of the Chicano movement) having been involved with the United Farm Workers as well as Chicano student politics (through the MECHA student organization and La Raza Law Students Association), the civil rights movement, voter registration and community political activities.
He worked in farm labor until 1970, and was a psychiatric technician with the state of California from 1964 to 1972. De la Rosa served as a law clerk with La Raza Centro Legal in San Francisco between 1974 and 1976, the following year he worked as a educational programs director for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and in 1977 became a counselor in the Chicano Studies Program at the University of California Berkeley.
As executive director of the community based Organization for the Legal Advancement of Raza Inc. over the past 25 years, he helped provide relevant community services and assisted tens of thousands of students, immigrants and poor people in California, Arizona and Washington state.
De la Rosa's popular weekly radio program, "Foro sin Fronteras," highlights services, advocacy efforts and rights of all immigrants. The one-hour public affairs talk show is broadcast by Radio Campesina, the Farm Worker Radio Network, with over 450,000 listeners in three states.