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Garcetti picks former USC dean to head Office of Immigrant Affairs

August 27, 2013|By Kate Linthicum
  • Mayor Eric Garcetti has picked Linda Lopez, a former dean of diversity at USC, to head his newly formed Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has picked Linda Lopez, a former dean of diversity at… (Susannah Kay / Los Angeles…)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that he has picked Linda Lopez, a former dean of diversity at USC, to head his newly formed Office of Immigrant Affairs.

During his campaign for mayor, Garcetti pledged to create an office to help immigrants navigate city government. In a statement released Tuesday morning, he said the bureau will help develop state and federal policies that effect immigrants, and assist them with accessing city services.

The aim, Garcetti said in a statement, is to further "integrate immigrants into the social, political, cultural and economic fabric of the city of Los Angeles.”

The office will work with immigrants who came here legally and illegally, according to Vicki Curry, a spokeswoman for Garcetti. 

The office will also play a key role in helping immigrants navigate the federal immigration process if Congress creates a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living here without permission.

The Senate has already passed such a bill. Republican leaders in the House have said they will not take up a bill with a pathway to citizenship, opting instead to consider a package of smaller immigration changes.

Lopez most recently served as associate dean for diversity and strategic initiatives for the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at USC. According to the mayor's office, her work there focused on developing programs for first-generation college students.

She received her doctorate in political science from USC.

In a statement, Lopez said she hopes to help “L.A. immigrants cut through red tape and make City Hall work for them.”

“Supporting their participation in civic life will benefit everyone in our city," she said.

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Twitter: @katelinthicum

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