In 2013, Mayor Eric Garcetti re-established the Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) in order to promote and advance the economic, cultural, social, and political well-being of immigrant communities in the City of Los Angeles. MOIA’s mission is to develop programs and initiatives to support immigrant integration through the coordination of city services, outreach, and legislative advocacy.
Our vision is to ensure all Angelenos, regardless of immigration status, are connected to community resources, have access to critical government services, are engaged in civic life, and are informed about critical immigration law and policy.
Dr. Linda Lopez, Chief
Dr. Linda Lopez was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the new Chief of the Office of Immigrant Affairs in September of 2013. In her role, she is responsible for providing overall strategic advice to Mayor Garcetti on his immigration policy agenda and creating innovative programs to integrate immigrants into the City’s social, economic, and political fabric.
The Office of Immigrant Affairs serves many functions for immigrants in the City of Los Angeles (1) coordination of city services with key departments (2) providing direct services to support immigrant integration and (3) tracking and advocating for sound immigration policies at the federal, state and local level and its implementation. The Office has developed key initiatives around driver’s license implementation, citizenship and deferred action.
Under her leadership, she has led a citizenship campaign to advance the Mayor’s agenda to increase the number of naturalized citizens in Los Angeles, has created an infrastructure in LA to provide services for DACA eligible populations, a program for immigrants to access Health4All Kids, and a community engagement strategy for immigrants to access driver’s licenses.
Prior to her appointment by Mayor Garcetti, Dr. Lopez was an Associate Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives in USC Dornsife College and formerly a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC. She is an expert in public policy and received her Master’s Degree and PhD at USC in Political Science. She has published in several peer-reviewed journals on public policy issues affecting racial and ethnic communities and has examined minority voting participation. She has regularly contributed her expertise to media outlets including Univision, NBC, La Opinion, LA Times and Telemundo. She was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of immigrants who migrated to Los Angeles from Ecuador.
Rita Fernandez, Policy Analyst
Rita currently serves as Policy Analyst in Mayor Eric Garcetti's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). Before joining MOIA Rita worked at the Mayor's Communications Office where she worked on immigration, education, labor, and sustainability issues. Prior to working in the Mayor's office, Rita served in the Washington, DC office of Congressman Juan Vargas of Southern California. Vargas represents the only congressional district that sits along the U.S./Mexico border in California where she worked closely with immigration and border issues. During her time in Washington, Rita served as a Press Aide and coordinated all media operations in the office and also managed a policy portfolio. Rita was born and raised in southern San Diego and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. In 2010, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego. She also completed 6 credits at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.
Irvin De La O, Program Manager
Irvin De La O serves as Program Manager in the Office of Immigrant Affairs. Prior to joining Mayor Garcetti's Office, Irvin served as a Field Deputy for Rep. Xavier Becerra where he handled issues related to the environment, education, youth, and immigration policy. He also previously worked at the RAND Corporation doing research in substance abuse treatment. In 2010, Irvin played for the LA Galaxy under-20 team. Irvin is a graduate of UCLA, where he received his B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Middle East and North African Studies. He is a native Angeleno and is the proud son of immigrants from El Salvador.
Luis Flores, DACA and 'Know Your Rights' Coordinator
Luis Flores is a 4th-Year Undergraduate at California State University, Long Beach and is on his way to becoming a first-generation college graduate with his B.A. in Political Science and Minor in Consumer Affairs. Throughout his years in college, Luis has been active as a leader in the campus community by advocating for his student peers. He's currently part of the President's Inclusive Excellence Advisory Committee on campus, where faculty and staff convene and discuss how to better serve students of color. He was also President of FUEL, an undocumented/AB540 student support group on campus, where he led various legal clinics, social empowerment events, and helped organize the university's first ever Undocu5K, which raised approximately $15,000 for scholarships. Luis takes great pride in serving immigrant communities not only on campus but throughout the City of Los Angeles as well. From organizing "Know Your Rights" workshops to training City staff, he looks forward to contributing to new initiatives and continuing outreach efforts to ensure that immigrant Angelenos feel connected to the City and are aware of the many resources available to them.
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