The County of Los Angeles is home to nearly 3.5 million immigrants. With such a large number of immigrants in the County, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion, introduced by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Sheila Kuehl, to officially establish an Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) and request the Civilian Oversight Commission oversee the Sheriff’s Department’s adherence to their policies as described in his January 10, 2017 report.

“As we head into inauguration, I want to remind our communities that the County will continue to stand against hate and provide exceptional aid for our immigrant individuals,” said Supervisor Solis. “My vision is to have our Office of Immigrant Affairs serve as a multi-lingual and culturally-competent one-stop shop where families can feel comfortable to receive assistance in their preferred language. This is one of the many steps we are taking towards protecting the immigrant communities that are so essential to Los Angeles County.”

 Supervisor Kuehl added, “I’m very proud to have a part in the actions of our County today. What we do here matters, in part, just because of the magnitude of our County, where 1 in every 35 residents of this country live. Today LA County is reasserting its commitment to upholding the federal and state constitutions for all our residents and ensuring that every resident is provided with adequate legal defense and that the County will not be forced to collaborate in federal immigration enforcement. As we wait to see the various negative, potentially heavy-handed, actions the Federal government may take, it’s incumbent on the County to take every proactive and legal measure possible to ensure that the rights of all the residents of LA County are, and will be, protected.”

Today’s motion stems from the December 6th Immigrant Protection Motion, which called for a report back from different County departments, strategies for immigrant protection in Los Angeles County, and the feasibility of an Office of Immigrant Affairs. The goal of the OIA is to provide a centralized location that would coordinate and streamline access to countywide services while providing the necessary tools our immigrant communities need. The OIA will be housed within the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs with a proposed budget set by April. In addition to establishing the OIA, Supervisors have directed County departments not to ask for information regarding immigrant status except where required by law or when needed to access services.

In the coming months, the County Immigrant Protection and Advancement Task Force (IPAA Taskforce) will provide continued recommendations in anticipation of changes in federal immigration policy that may threaten vulnerable immigrant communities throughout the County. County of Los Angeles Departments and the Board of Supervisors will continue to work together to best protect our immigrant communities.

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CONTACT: Jessie Gomez, Communications Deputy, (213) 359-0795 or jgomez@bos.lacounty.gov