On September 19, IRC celebrated the grand opening of the newest New Americans Center (NAC) at Echo Park Branch Library with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Speakers included Los Angeles Executive Director Martin Zogg and Guatemalan immigrant Dora Comelli, who with IRC’s help, is now a U.S. citizen.
Under the Mayor’s NAC initiative, the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) is creating singular, dedicated spaces within some branches designed specifically for immigrants and their needs. IRC staffs the centers, with regular daily office hours where an immigrant can simply drop in or sign up online for an appointment. IRC worked in the first four libraries that had centers, and then expanded to six when the LAPL built more. The Echo Park branch marks the seventh location, and the program will expand again to eight when another is added in a few months.