On March 2, 2004, Los Angeles City Mayor James Hahn held a press conference before the impending City Council vote on the establishment of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. NAKASEC executive director EunSook Lee was one of several speakers who talked about the importance of this office for the city of Los Angeles.
Excerpt from NAKASEC statement:
“ Immigrant and refugees contribute so greatly to this city. Yet, it is also the population that has faced great adversities including economic hardships, and subject to exploitation, discrimination and racial profiling. In such important and uncertain times, the office of immigrant affairs can play a leadership role in defending as well as advancing the rights of immigrants and refugees. And, in doing so, we can all be proud about the city that we live in.
This is an important day for all of us.APA organizations, along with many other immigrant organizations went through many meetings and discussions; working with the mayor’s office, with council member Eric Garcetti and as part of the city’s Human Relations Commission Immigration Task Force in order to see this day.Unlike other cities, the formation of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs is the result of a partnership between the community and the city of Los Angeles.”
Following the press conference the members of City Council voted unanimously, 15 to 0 in support of this proposal. The Mayor’s office now has 90 days to produce a workplan and to determine the composition of an advisory board.
About the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
Mission: Advance and advocate for the full and active civic, social, political, and economic participation of immigrants and refugees in the City of Los Angeles. This rolle is to be involved in policies and issues affecting L.A.’s immigrant and refugee stakeholders, and to facilitate their access to City services, benefits and opportunities. Stakeholders are defined as any individual who lives, works or owns property in the City of Los Angeles, regardless of place of birth or immigration status.
Examples of issues in the area of City services: assess current city services, from hotlines to law enforcement, for issues such as language accessibility and cultural competence, promote and facilitate improvement as needed in the delivery of such services, be available as link between stakeholder organizations and appropriate city services.
Involved in policies and issues – Examples: develop and promote city policies consistent with mission, seek implementation of appropriate city resolutions and ordinances such as LAPD Special Order 40, actively engage with federal and other government officials to curtail harm to immigrant communities caused by certain enforcement activities, play a visible and outspoken role in the state and national immigration debate and the shaping of local, state and federal legislation, policies and practices impacting immigrants and refugees in L.A.