Report cover featuring colorful graphic art of a diverse group of people
Immigrant Inclusion & Racial Justice

January 9, 2020

Authors: Dalia Gonzalez, Sabrina Kim, Cynthia Moreno and Edward-Michael Muña

By the California Community Foundation and USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII)

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

Immigrants from all over the globe have created a home in L.A. County for generations. In that time, both immigration policies and immigrant communities themselves have evolved dramatically. Some immigrant groups are large and long-settled, while others are newer and growing. A subset of immigrants have accessed higher education, invested in homes, or started a business. In these groups of homeowners, entrepreneurs, college graduates, and workers there are immigrants who have naturalized, who are lawful permanent residents, or who are undocumented.

Despite the important role of immigrants in our community, there has been an absence of a comprehensive, compassionate response to immigration on the federal level. Furthermore, there have been a slew of explicitly anti-immigrant federal policy changes including: determining eligibility for naturalization based on public service utilization, lowering caps for refugee resettlement, raising naturalization fees and enacting other restrictions, and attempting to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

It is with this backdrop that The Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and the Council on Immigrant Integration, a body that pushes for a society fully inclusive of immigrant communities, launched the State of Immigrants in Los Angeles (SOILA) report. SOILA documents how immigrants are faring economically, if they are connected to and engaging in civic life, and how L.A. County creates a welcoming environment. It attempts to cover many if not all facets of immigrant life and provides a base for further inquiry, action, and forthcoming work for L.A. County immigrant-serving institutions.

Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

    a view of the Los Angeles skyline