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Photograph: Michael JulianoLos Angles City Hall.

L.A. just created the country's first citywide immigrant advocate

Written by
Brittany Martin

On the very day of Donald Trump’s Inauguration in Washington, D.C., the L.A. City Council voted unanimously to approve a motion to move forward with protecting undocumented immigrants who live in Los Angeles. Among the measures passed today is the creation of a new role in city government of an appointed immigrant advocate, the first job of its kind in any U.S. city.

The immigrant advocate will work with the existing Office of Immigrant Affairs to help oversee the delivery of services and legal aid to undocumented city residents, particularly those facing deportation actions, as My News L.A. reports

The Council’s motion notes that an estimated 850,000 people living in L.A. today are non-citizens and many of those individuals are undocumented. That means about one-in-five Angelenos could be impacted if mass deportations really start happening.  

According to a statement from the office of City Council President Herb Wesson, the passage of the motion and the creation of the advocate position are prompted by concerns about what federal policy may hold in the coming years, calling this move a “response to the incoming administration’s pledge to take drastic action on immigration.”

Creating the immigrant advocate is another step on top of the city’s ‘sanctuary city’ status. Additionally, Mayor Garcetti and L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck have both issued public statements that the LAPD will refuse to comply with federal requests to assist with any deportation efforts. Programs are also underway for city government to collaborate with the public school district and community organizations to strengthen support systems for undocumented Angelenos. 

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