Immigrants comprise 35% of Los Angeles County’s population and make up 44% of its workforce, yet they continue to face economic advancement and justice equity challenges. In response, the Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA), a division within the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, developed the 2018 Immigrant Protection and Advancement (IPAA) report, which outlines strategies for helping immigrants thrive. FUSE Executive Fellow Michael Nobleza helped OIA prioritize the IPAA recommendations, resulting in initiatives that will improve the social safety net for immigrant Angelenos and strengthen its ability to help immigrants navigate the county’s social service system.
To implement the OIA’s IPAA strategy, Michael gathered feedback from over 60 key stakeholders, from community organizations, research institutes, and other L.A. County departments and agencies. He used this feedback to develop a strategic framework focused on policy development, resource linkage, and narrative change. Michael helped secure a total of $3.75 million in funding to support a pilot program focused on educating underserved immigrant communities about the impact of public benefits usage on their immigration status, as well as to provide capacity-building and technical assistance grants to the frontline, immigrant-serving organizations. Michael also conducted research with 12 major offices of labor standards enforcement and labor law research centers to provide immigrant-focused recommendations for creating the County’s first-ever Office of Labor Equity. He also led top L.A. County domestic work organizations in the launch of “Your Home Is Someone’s Workplace,” a campaign to educate and offer resources to domestic workers and employers.