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.
Jessica Caloza, Policy Analyst
Jessica Caloza serves as a Policy Analyst in the Office of Immigrant Affairs. Prior to joining the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, she was a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Education, where she worked on higher education, youth, and immigration policy issues. Before joining the President's Administration, she was a campaign finance associate for several Members of Congress including Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-34) and Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17). Ms. Caloza also previously opened and led the first field office in Palmyra, Virginia for President Obama’s re-election campaign. Before joining the campaign, she was an intern at the White House for the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Additionally, Ms. Caloza is active in the Filipino American community and was most recently selected as one of ten young professionals to be a delegate in the Filipino Youth Leadership Program, an initiative established by the Ambassador of the Philippines. She is a first generation immigrant from the Philippines and earned her B.A. with dual degrees in Political Science: International Relations and Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego.
JC De Vera, UCLA Luskin David Bohnett Fellow
JC De Vera is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, concentrating in social and urban policy and public leadership and management. He is passionate about equitable and inclusive policymaking, creating pathways out of poverty, and advancing equity for low-income communities and communities of color. Prior to starting graduate school, JC worked for The Greenlining Institute, a racial and economic justice policy think tank based in the Bay Area. In his four years at Greenlining, he helped build the organization’s digital communications strategy from the ground up, and developed communications campaigns to strengthen the organization’s advocacy impact. As a 2016-17 David Bohnett Fellow, JC is humbled and honored to be joining the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. He is looking forward to working on projects and initiatives that engage and include the diverse array of immigrant communities into the social and economic fabric of the nation’s second largest city.
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