Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Linda Lopez, tells illegal immigrants in Los Angeles, “You don’t have to fear. We’re here to help you.”
The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday that Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed the 44-year-old bureaucrat with a Doctorate in Political Science from USC to help him overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. So far she has at least one feather in her cap for leading the charge to prevent the practice of holding illegal immigrant inmates after their date of release so federal agents could take them into custody.
In July, when the city of Murrieta turned away busloads of illegal aliens because they did not want them housed at shelters in their community, it was Linda Lopez who recommended that Los Angeles could take them in. The fact that Los Angeles was already paying a price for taking care of over one million illegal aliens didn’t deter Lopez.
Lopez’s office organizes classes for illegal aliens on how to apply for driver’s licenses and other supportive programs. Currently, Los Angeles has set aside $3 million in state funds to provide legal representation for children facing deportation, the Times reported.
“If the federal government doesn’t do anything around immigration reform, we still have these populations here locally,” Lopez insists. “So we have to be creative and innovative around how we develop policies that will assist them and integrate them into the city’s fabric.”
City taxpayers are spending $107,000 a year for Linda Lopez, plus the salary for her full time assistant, to be “creative and innovative.” Yet, that is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the $650 million Los Angeles County paid in 2013 for welfare benefits to nurture the million or so illegal immigrants that call Los Angeles their home.
Maria Fotopoulos, who lives in West L.A., isn’t quite as enthusiastic about city resources being used on illegal aliens. She thinks that there are more important issues, such as repairing the city’s water pipelines and deteriorating streets.
“Why are we not spending taxpayer money on the citizens of L.A. and all the things that need to be fixed in L.A.?” asserted Fotopoulos, who belongs to Californians for Population Stabilization, which promotes stricter immigration laws. “Shouldn’t we be taking care of our people first?”