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HOW LA COUNTY SERVES OUR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES

Magazine, Immigration

Los Angeles County has the largest immigrant population in the United States’ making up 35% of its 10million residents. As such it is imperative that to run a thriving economy where immigrants contribute massively to its fabric, their needs be met in all aspects. On a zoom conference  for ethnic media outlets hosted by Ethnic Media Services, County officials  shared how they help their very diverse  immigrant communities.

Stating how vital the immigrant community is to the economy and way of life of the county, Executive Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA), Rigoberto Reyes applauded their contributions as well as listing 39departments dedicated to providing services, “from the womb to the tomb”. Reyes warned the prevalence of fraudsters who take advantage of the insecurities of immigrants towards officials. The “public charge and DACA rules”being at the center of such activity. He stressed vigilance and due diligence when dealing with attorneys  and fake attorneys who would exploit financially through exorbitant fees and providing misleading information which can lead to deportation.Beware that state-licensed attorneys are the only ones who can provide legal help and not legal consultants. It would be a good idea to call the OIA to get the right information for your particular case. The number to call is listed as(800) 593-8222 or online at oia.lacounty.gov.

senior policy analyst at the county’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, Manuel Ruiz, gave information on free legal help for immigrants facing eviction through  their StayHousedLA program which services people who fall within certain income brackets. Visit their website at stayhousedla.org or call (888) 694-0040). If you are facing any harassment the department has a responsibility to defend and protect you from retaliation of any sort and this is regardless of your immigration status.

Get more information from a series of know-your-rights workshops, and information for property owners. Call (833) 223-7368, write to rent@lacounty.gov or visit the multilingual website rent.lacounty.gov for more, Ruiz said.

Anna Gorman, director of community partnerships and programs at the Department of Health Services, insisted that this was equally important to staying healthy and had a direct impact on  people’s health.

Regardless of immigration status the The MyHealthLA program (dhs.lacounty.gov/mhla) helps obtain medications and other healthcare needs. This is in partnership with DHS and other legal services.

The county’s chief of the OIA, Daniel Sharp, shared developments recent immigration legal rules including DACA, TPS, and “public charge” . As agreed in 2012 DACA applications are being accepted, and extended for up to a year. Learn more and take action at: https://oia.lacounty.gov/DACA/. Meanwhile the Trump Administration’s “public  charge rule” has been blocked and will be dispensed within the first 100days of the Biden Administration as promised by the President-elect. For clarity please visit the DHS website at https://oia.lacounty.gov/publiccharge/.

Finally, TPS has been  extended into October 2021 for the following countries: Haiti, Nepal, El Salvador, Sudan, and Nicaragua. The incoming Biden Administration has also pledged an  extension for its beneficiaries.

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