Immigrants are a central part of the Los Angeles community, landscape, and overall functioning of the county—over 1 in 3 Angelenos are immigrants or 3.6 million. Although “immigrant” is helpful in describing those born outside of the U.S., in this case, the immigrant experience is far from uniform as it is shaped by race, class, legal status, etc. In our third consecutive year of the State of Immigrants in Los Angeles County (SOILA) 2022 report, we highlight the standing of immigrants in L.A. as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt, including in the context of major, system-altering changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the recovery from the peak of the pandemic continues, what does an equitable recovery look like for immigrants? How can we ensure immigrants are not left behind? First and foremost, we recognize that white supremacy is the framework that sustains the immigration system and therefore we must make a commitment to racial justice, which is a commitment to immigrants. Further, as the report shows, legal status is a significant barrier to the civic and economic inclusion of immigrants but it also greatly impacts their well-being. Another takeaway is the barriers that stand in the way of immigrants and prevents their inclusion also affect their families, friends, communities, and ultimately, all Angelenos.

Our 2022 report continues to build on the previous two SOILA reports and attempts to shed light on pressing facets of immigrant life. Moreover, evolving from our prior focus on immigrant integration, and in better alignment with community organizers and immigrant communities, this year we use “immigrant inclusion” as our analytical lens. This approach emphasizes the role of immigrants in building power and creating their own life narratives and stresses the linkage between the barriers to full inclusion immigrants navigate and broader struggles for racial and economic justice.


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    Immigrant Inclusion & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant inclusion 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.

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