American Renaissance

New Office Will Aid Immigrants

Unit at L.A. City Hall will not directly offer services but will be a clearinghouse for information for residents born abroad.

Jessica Garrison, L. A. Times, Mar. 3

Houston, San Francisco and New York did it first. But on Tuesday, finally, the 42% of Los Angeles residents born in other countries got an office in City Hall to call their own.

Following the lead of cities around the U.S., Mayor James K. Hahn and the Los Angeles City Council created an Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Housed within the mayor’s office, the immigrant affairs unit — with a budget of $125,000 and a translation service equipped to interpret bureaucratese in more than 130 languages — will serve as a clearinghouse to help immigrants gain access to all that the city provides.

The office will not directly provide services to refugees and other immigrants. Instead, its two staff members will offer information on everything from small-business loans to how to file a police report.

“Recent immigrants frequently need extra help to become integrated into civic life,” Hahn said. “What we want to do is connect people to the services.”

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