News2024-06-20T18:48:31+00:00

International Institute of Los Angeles Gains Asylum Approval for Nearly 350 Afghans

NEWS PROVIDED BY International Institute of Los Angeles June 11, 2024, 22:19 GMT IILA Gains Asylum Approval for Nearly 350 Afghans, reaching 150 case approval milestone, further supporting U.S.'s "Operations Allies Welcome." "Our work ensures refugees, asylees, and asylum seekers can get assistance, have pathways to work and care for their families, and contribute to our community in meaningful ways.”— Cambria Tortorelli, Executive Director, IILA LOS ANGELES, [...]

Spectrum News 1: “Despite immigration backlog reductions, asylum seekers still waiting to have cases heard”

(Above: Edita Ghushchyan, IILA's Managing Attorney for the Immigration Legal Services Division/ILSD. Photo courtesy of Spectrum News 1 SoCal.) April 25, 2024 Spectrum News 1's Zarina Khairzada sat down with IILA Managing Attorney Edita Ghushchyan to discuss the current state of wait times for asylum seekers and the causes of delays. View the full story here: "Despite immigration backlog reductions, asylum seekers still waiting to have cases [...]

Two Years Since the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, IILA Calls for Continued Support of Ukrainian Refugees through Education & Advocacy

Two years ago, the world watched in horror as tensions between Russia and Ukraine erupted into a full-blown conflict, marking the beginning of a dark chapter in the region's history.  The international community has rallied behind Ukraine, providing humanitarian aid, diplomatic support, and solidarity in the face of aggression. Yet, despite these efforts, the war rages on and the needs of the Ukrainian people are not featured as [...]

Fed Chair discusses immigration’s role in economic recovery on “60 Minutes”

In a recent interview with 60 Minutes,Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell explained the positive impact of immigration on the nation's economic recovery in 2023. Hear his comments in the video above.    

“Andy Lippman: Nonprofit International Institute of Los Angeles Keeps Doors Open for Refugees”

Above: IILA President & CEO Cambria Tortorelli February 20, 2024   Local journalist Andy Lippman recently sat down with IILA President & CEO Cambria Tortorelli to discuss the current refugee resettlement and immigration landscape.   "A drumbeat of controversy surrounds the discussion of immigration at America’s southern border, " he writes.   "It’s drowned out a discussion of the Afghan refugees who been coming here since the [...]

IILA celebrates Rosa Parks & Transit Equity Day

(Above: [Rosa Parks] "Poor Peoples March at Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, [Washington, D.C.]" Original black and white negative by Warren K. Leffler. Taken June 19th, 1968, Washington D.C, United States Washington D.C, United States (@libraryofcongress). Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. https://www.loc.gov/item/2017650273/) January 31, 2024   From January 29 through February 3, 2024, International Institute of Los [...]

IILA supports “Amal’s wish”

International Institute of Los Angeles supports the important event "Amal's wish" IILA invites all employees, partners, volunteers and clients to participate in the fantastic event "Amal's wish".  The organizers say: "Little Amal is the 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child at the heart of The Walk. She has become a global symbol of human rights, especially those of refugees. Amal is traveling 11,000 miles across [...]

Strengthening the health of Ukrainians: new IILA project will help new arrivals understand the medical system and take care of their health

Strengthening the health of Ukrainians: the new IILA project will help new arrivals understand the medical system and take care of their health  (українська версія - нижче) The International Institute of Los Angeles has started a new program for Ukrainians that will help them understand the medical system in the USA and get the necessary medical services. Ukrainian health promotion program will help Ukrainians in several ways: [...]

Free and Affordable Childcare in Los Angeles County

Free and Affordable Childcare in Los Angeles County A great many families in LA need childcare assistance. Childcare is expensive but you may be eligible for subsidized childcare which is low cost or free if your answer is yes to the questions below: Do you need help paying for childcare or preschool? Do you need childcare before or after school? Are you working, attending school, or looking [...]

Refugees, immigrants and low-income residents in Los Angeles County can receive free travel on public transport: how to apply

Refugees, immigrants and low-income residents in Los Angeles County can receive free or subsidized travel on public transport: how to apply IILA specialists help low-income residents in Los Angeles County obtain free public transportation through the METRO LIFE program. The Metro LIFE Program offers discounts on transit passes or free rides on LA Metro and several other transit agencies. On the IILA website, you can check whether [...]

Do you want to start your own business in Southern California? IILA’s partners offer two programs to help refugees start businesses.

Refugees can start their own business in the US and get help doing it. IILA’s partners offer professional advice and opportunities to find funding and establish a new business. Often, refugees decide that they would like to start their own business. After studying the American market, needs, different niches, and the labor market, they up with a business idea, based on their previous experience or on a [...]

Ukrainian refugees arriving in Los Angeles need support, and IILA is here to help! 

Every day, IILA receives requests from newly arrived Ukrainians asking for help. Most of these applications are processed by the Preferred Communities Ukrainian team. This program provides one-time financial assistance and basic case management. "There were days when I received 30-40 letters from Ukrainians every day. We really want to help everyone as soon as possible, but each case needs time to process," said Hasmik Stepanyan, case [...]

How to help refugees and immigrants in California, Los Angeles – Los Angeles Times

How to help refugees and immigrants in California, Los Angeles - Los Angeles Times. When the migrants arrived at Union Station, they found organizations ready to help them. Organizations throughout the city and county of Los Angeles have plenty of experience aiding displaced or newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Often a family’s first point of contact and constant support system, these groups provide such services as legal [...]

Refugees, immigrants, and families in need in Los Angeles County can get help paying utilities’ bills and debt forgiveness

Refugees, immigrants, and families in need in Los Angeles County can get help paying utilities’ bills and debt forgiveness  (the text in Spanish, Ukrainian and Pashto is below) The International Institute of Los Angeles helps needy families with utility assistance to solve debt problems. Only in 2022, within this program, IILA helped more than 400 families with direct services on their utility bills and provided more than [...]

Second Anniversary of the Fall of Kabul: Afghan Refugees successfully integrate in Los Angeles, but challenges remain

August 15, 2023 Press Release: Second Anniversary of the Fall of Kabul: Afghan Refugees successfully integrate in Los Angeles, but challenges remain "Dad called me and said: they are already at the gate... I had to run away through the back exit of the Parliament building. I was at the airport and saw everything... We had one bottle of water for five people... I saw dead bodies... [...]

The Source: “How to Sign up for Public Transportation Discounts with Metro LIFE program” #2

(Above: IILA Social Services staff Nichole Corwin and Erikc Burgos out in the community ready to help with Metro LIFE enrollments.) July 3, 2023 The Source: "The entire family of Marco Antonio Mejia relies on Metro public transportation for their commutes...With a regular fare of $1.75, their total transportation expenses could be as much as $70 per week or nearly $280 per month —an amount difficult for [...]

Caló News: “International Institute of Los Angeles helps refugees, low-income families and immigrants”

(Above: IILA Social Services staff member assists a client with a food voucher and other essential services. Photo credit: Teresa L Pepe Photography.) June 23, 2023 Caló News: "In June, people from all over the world honor those who have left their home countries to outrun violence, abuse or persecution. They honor, observe and celebrate World Refugee Day... On World Refugee Day, which was on Tuesday, June [...]

IILA’s Immigration Legal Services Division accepting clients for citizenship applications

May 23, 2023 IILA's Immigration Legal Services Division is currently accepting clients who need help applying for citizenship.  Contact them today to learn more!

VOA: “Ukrainian Refugees in US Grateful, Anxious About Future”

Above: Nataliya Mikhnova is interviewed by VOA News.  Credit: VOA News.   February 9, 2023 VOA News: "Nearly a year ago, tens of thousands of Ukrainians sought refuge in the United States as Russian troops invaded their country. Mike O'Sullivan spoke with two Ukrainian families in California about their lives one year later."  Featuring IILA's Ukraine Community Integration Coordinator, Nataliya Mikhnova.      

IILA to Host Free Legal Clinics on Afghan TPS Process

  February 8, 2023   As Afghans who entered the U.S. as humanitarian parolees continue to navigate long wait times in a backlogged asylum application system, IILA is encouraging them to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  IILA will host two free legal clinics this month in partnership with Loyola Law School to overview the TPS application process, renewing Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), and obtaining fee waivers [...]

IILA President & CEO Cambria Tortorelli Featured Guest on “Commentaries From The Edge” Podcast

January 23, 2023 Episode Summary: "The people’s of the world are on the move, migrating across regions and continents. Many, due to wars, oppression and violent circumstances, come as refugees with little salvaged from their past lives. In Los Angeles, California, there is an organization called the INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE that works in tandem with the offices of the State Department of the Federal government. The Institute takes [...]

Department of State Announces Family Reunification Pathway for Afghan Humanitarian Parolees

On January 12, 2023, the Department of State released form DS 4317, which allows Afghan humanitarian parolees and those granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to apply for family reunification. Eligible family members for reunification are lawful spouses and children under the age of 21 (as of 8/14/2021). For more information about reunification for Afghan humanitarian parolees and those with other legal statuses, please visit the Department of [...]

Welcome.US: “200+ Organizations Signal Support for the Welcome Corps, New Service Opportunity for Private Refugee Sponsorship”

(Photo from https://welcomecorps.org) January 19, 2023 "Washington, D.C. — Today, more than 200 diverse organizations are signaling their support for the Welcome Corps, a new U.S. government community service program that allows everyday Americans to privately sponsor refugees from around the world—representing the boldest innovation in refugee resettlement in more than 40 years, grounded in the generosity and compassion of American communities. Over the last year, Americans from [...]

Los Angeles Daily News: “Southern California’s Ukrainian refugees are bittersweet on Orthodox Christmas”

Above, Rev. Vasile Sauciur, of Saint Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Los Angeles (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) January 7, 2023 "Since fleeing the war in Ukraine about 10 months ago, Nataliya Mikhnova’s family has faced its share of challenges while adjusting to their new lives in Los Angeles. To cheer up her young daughters, Mikhnova reminded them that unlike other children they would [...]

Stay healthy this winter with proper masking!

As the LA County Department of Public Health has expected, based on the trends of previous years, COVID case rates and overall community transmission have increased quickly since the Thanksgiving holiday. At IILA, we continue to require masks indoors at all of our sites. We encourage the community to follow current county guidelines and use appropriate masking techniques to stay safe and healthy this winter and holiday [...]

IILA’s “Opportunities for Youth” hosts Friendsgiving to celebrate client progress and support multiculturalism

December 2, 2022 This November, IILA’s Opportunities for Youth (OFY) Program had the pleasure of hosting a Friendsgiving celebration.  Young people and their families, case managers, and program directors shared lunch together and reflected on clients’ progress since their arrival in the United States.  Families enjoyed each other’s company and young people got to know their case managers better in an environment of welcome and celebration.  By [...]

Grateful for all we’ve accomplished together!

11/18/2022  In this season of gratitude, we at the International Institute of Los Angeles are looking back and celebrating all that we have accomplished together in the past year. There truly have been some incredible developments since November 2021, and these achievements would not have been possible without the generous support of volunteers and donors like you! Read how Mirwais, an accomplished Afghan journalist, is rebuilding his life in [...]

Press Release – International Institute of Los Angeles Calls For Renewed Efforts For Equity, Dignity And Justice After Leaked Audio 

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/14/2022  INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES CALLS FOR RENEWED EFFORTS   FOR EQUITY, DIGNITY AND JUSTICE AFTER LEAKED AUDIO  LOS ANGELES, CA -- International Institute of Los Angeles released a statement today in response to the racist comments made by LA City Councilmembers Martinez, de Leon and Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President, Ron [...]

Press Release: International Institute of Los Angeles Ramps Up Services for Ukrainian Arrivals

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/01/2022 INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES RAMPS UP SERVICES FOR UKRAINIAN ARRIVALSAs Ukrainians displaced by the Russian conflict arrive, IILA is once again calling on the local community for assistance  LOS ANGELES, CA – Local nonprofit organization International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) is currently ramping up its capacity to resettle and serve Ukrainians refugees in Greater [...]

Upcoming Event: 9/23/22: Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall: In-Person Author Event: Always Faithful: A Story of the War in Afghanistan with Major Tom Schueman

As thousands of Afghan citizens who assisted US forces attempted to flee Afghanistan a year ago, Major Tom Schueman was fighting a behind-the-scenes battle to help Zainullah Zaki (Zak), an Afghan interpreter who served with Major Schueman, escape with his family.IILA is proud to partner with Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall for their upcoming event where Major Schueman will discuss his new book, Always Faithful: A [...]

Press Release: A Year After the Fall of Kabul, Afghans Make Great Progress Resettling in Los Angeles in the Face of Uncertainty

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/19/2022 A YEAR AFTER THE FALL OF KABUL, AFGHANS MAKE GREAT PROGRESS RESETTLING IN LOS ANGELES IN THE FACE OF UNCERTAINYNearly all are in permanent housing, working, and enrolled in school. However, Congressional inaction makes their futures uncertain. LOS ANGELES, CA – This week marks one year since the fall of Kabul to Taliban forces and the [...]

LAist: “A Year After Fall Of Kabul, LA Group Making Good Progress Resettling Afghan Refugees”

August 15, 2022 Exactly one year after the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul sparked a massive airlift of Afghan refugees to the U.S., many of those who arrived in Southern California have settled into their new lives, according to a resettlement group. More than 80,000 Afghans arrived in the U.S., according to the Department of Homeland Security, and thousands came to California. Local resettlement agencies, low on resources after [...]

KnockLA: “Afghan Refugees Look for Hope in Santa Clarita”

June 10, 2022 Following arduous journeys fleeing the Taliban regime, Afghan refugees find community support in California as they struggle with past trauma. On August 24, 2021, Ajmal Rezai came home to his family in Kabul and told them they had to escape. The day before, he had encountered the Taliban waiting for him outside his office building. Rezai managed to get past them and into the [...]

IILA Statement on the Mass Shooting at Robb Elementary School

May 26, 2022 As we continue to learn details unfolding from Tuesday's horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) is devastated by the tragic loss of lives. As an organization that provides early childhood education to children from working class, non-English speaking, and immigrant families, it is especially heartbreaking for us to know that for so many in [...]

Press Release: IILA Launches Afghan Legal Representation Project

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 04/21/2022 IILA LAUNCHES AFGHAN LEGAL REPRESENTATION PROJECTVolunteer initiative seeks to match pro bono attorneys with hundreds of Afghan families who face one-year asylum deadline  LOS ANGELES, CA, APRIL 21, 2022 – Over two hundred resettled Afghan families in Greater Los Angeles are facing a legal deadline to submit their asylum application so they can remain in the [...]

IILA’s Afghan Legal Representation Project (ALRP) Needs Your Help

April 18, 2022 Hundreds of Afghan families in Los Angeles are facing a one-year deadline to submit their asylum application so they can safely and legally remain in the United States and obtain lawful permanent residency. Since the fall of Kabul to Taliban forces in August 2021, IILA has received 889 Afghans. Over half of our clients have already found permanent homes and enrolled their children in [...]

DACA Renewals Can Now Be Submitted Online

April 13, 2022 International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) applauds yesterday's announcement from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal forms can now be submitted online. Those who previously received deferred action under DACA may now file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals online, potentially making the process more streamlined and efficient for hundreds of thousands of [...]

Pasadena Weekly: “Trio helps Afghans settle in LA County”

March 17, 2022 Longtime Pasadena resident Janet Elkins wants to spend her retirement years helping others.  She and her friends Terry Herkner and Betty Carmona have turned to helping Afghan refugees who settled in the area through the International Institute of Los Angeles. The 100-year-old agency coordinates the resettlement of refugees. Read the full article here: Pasadena Weekly: "Trio helps Afghans settle in LA County"    

IILA Applauds the White House Announcement that the U.S. will Welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian Refugees

March 24, 2022 International Institute of Los Angeles applauds today's announcement that the United States will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the Russian invasion. While the government believes that the vast majority of Ukrainians will choose to remain in Europe, we are expecting that some Ukrainians will eventually arrive here in the U.S. IILA is standing by and awaiting further guidance from our federal [...]

IILA Statement on Ukraine

March 10, 2022. Updated March 11, 2022. International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) is closely following the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion. We understand that many in the Greater Los Angeles area are also watching the deeply distressing events with great concern for displaced individuals and are looking for ways to help. At this time, we are not expecting a [...]

Act Now for Afghan Allies: Six-Month Resettlement Update

March 2, 2022 To the volunteers, donors, and supporters of International Institute of Los Angeles:  It has been a little over six months since the fall of Kabul to Taliban forces and the subsequent evacuation of more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan. Over the past several months, International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) partnered with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) to resettle evacuated Afghan [...]

SCVTV’s Community Corner: Alpha Miracle Foundation & International Institute of Los Angeles

February 17, 2022 On this first segment back of SCVTV’s Community Corner, hosts Dave Caldwell and Carrie Lujan bring on Lilian Alba from International Institute of Los Angeles and Angelica Khan Weatherman from the Alpha Miracle Foundation to discuss the evacuees that Santa Clarita will be welcoming into the community and how they were chosen. Watch the full interview here: https://scvtv.com/2022/02/20/scvtvs-community-corner-alpha-miracle-foundation-international-institute-of-los-angeles/

KHTS FM 98.1: “134 Afghan Refugees Temporarily Placed In Santa Clarita Valley”

January 28, 2022 "After months of waiting and a rushed evacuation from their home country, over 130 Afghan refugees, including men, women and children, have been temporarily placed in the Santa Clarita Valley to prepare for their next steps toward making a home in their new country" Read the full article here: https://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-news/community-news/134-afghan-refugees-temporarily-placed-in-santa-clarita-valley-404111  https://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-news/community-news/134-afghan-refugees-temporarily-placed-in-santa-clarita-valley-404111

Calling for Community Input from Home-Based Child Care Providers

February 1, 2022 Does your organization reach family, friends & neighbors and/or family child care providers that care for children birth to 5 years of age? Then this event is for YOU. The Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles and First 5 LA are conducting a Landscape Analysis to hear directly from home-based child care providers, including both family child care providers (FCCs) and family, friend and [...]

Telemundo 52: “Organización ofrece servicios para personas de bajos recursos en Los Ángeles”

January 20, 2022 El International Institute Los Angeles ofrece recursos legales para víctimas de violencia doméstica y/o de tráfico humano y ayuda a las personas que no pueden navegar el sistema de servicios debido al poco dominio del inglés. Vea el video completo aquí.

Phoebe Bridgers Selects IILA as the Beneficiary of Her Annual Holiday Song

November 30, 2021 Each year since 2017, the artist Phoebe Bridgers has released a Christmas single to benefit a charity. International Institute of Los Angeles is honored to be the beneficiary of her 2021 song, a cover of "Day After Tomorrow" by Tom Waits. All proceeds from the single will be donated to IILA and support our services and programs for immigrants, refugees, survivors of human trafficking, [...]

Telemundo: “Lágrimas y gritos de emoción: un padre inmigrante abraza a su hijo tras 20 años separados”

October 14, 2021 Tears and screams of emotion: an immigrant father hugs his son after 20 years apart. The last time this Salvadoran father was with his son, he was 4 years old and left him with his grandmother. Samael was now able to reach the US thanks to the reopening of the Central American Minors' Reunification Program (CAM).

WORLD: “The coming wave: U.S. resettlement agencies—including Christian groups—prepare for tens of thousands of Afghan refugees”

September 23, 2021 CAMBRIA TORTORELLI, executive director of International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA), an LA-based refugee services nonprofit, said the kind of proactive engagement she saw from locals, churches, other religious groups, and businesses has been “unprecedented in terms of the numbers, intensity, and scope—certainly unprecedented within the last 20 years.”

People called, emailed, then called and emailed IILA again offering spare rooms, furniture, household items, transportation, and time. The local Afghan American community, many of them refugees themselves with friends and family stuck in Afghanistan, formed teams to pick up Afghan refugees arriving at the airport, shop for groceries, and take them sightseeing to Hollywood and the Southern California beaches.

“We’re doing what we should be doing,” Tortorelli said. “That’s very encouraging and restores my faith in humanity. I think the vast majority of people, in this country and around the world, have good hearts.”

The Eastsider: “For more than a century, this Lincoln Heights organization has been welcoming refugees”

October 12, 2021 For more than a century, the International Institute of Los Angeles has assisted thousands of refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. Women displaced by World War I. Families fleeing the Cuban Revolution. Soviet dissidents persecuted during the Cold War. Central American children seeking safety from gangs. These are among the many groups from around the world that the institute has welcomed [...]

KPCC/LAist: “A Tearful Reunion In LA As Biden Revives A Refugee Program Trump Had Canceled”

October 8, 2021 On a recent Friday afternoon, 25-year-old Samael lounged on the grass with his parents and younger brother at a park in North Hollywood, taking everything in. He’d just flown in to LAX two days earlier from El Salvador. It’s his first time here — and his first time seeing his family in person since he was 4 years old. “I couldn’t imagine it, being [...]

Noticias Telemundo: “Logran reunificarse con su hijo por un programa del Gobierno”

September 14, 2021 Video oficial de Noticias Telemundo. "Nuestro sueño se hizo realidad", asegura la madre salvadoreña tras 22 años de espera. Ella y su pareja están llenos de alegría gracias al programa CAM, que reunifica a menores centroamericanos con sus padres y fue reactivado por el Gobierno de Biden. Vea el video aquí. 

How You Can Sponsor a Resettling Afghan Family

October 1, 2021 Click here to download this page as a PDF to easily print and share. What do resettling families need most? As we prepare for the arrival of hundreds of refugees, we expect that our top priorities for families will be:  Securing affordable, long-term housing  Finding good job opportunities  Legal assistance to help asylum seekers apply for asylum so that they can access federal benefits  [...]

Act Now for Afghan Allies: Volunteer Update

September 30, 2021 The following was sent to IILA volunteers to provide updates on the status of Afghan refugees arriving in Los Angeles, the response of the International Institute of Los Angeles, and our anticipated needs to serve arriving families. Firstly, thank you so much for filling out our Refugee Volunteer Screening form and providing us with your offered services and items. We are fortunate to have [...]

International Institute of Los Angeles Condemns the Expulsion of Thousands of Haitian Migrants Who Have the Right to Seek Asylum

Thursday, September 28, 2021 International Institute of Los Angeles joins our partner, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), in strongly condemning the expulsion of thousands of Haitian migrants.As Haiti continues to experience the devastating aftermath of political turmoil, civil unrest, human rights abuses, and natural disaster, many Haitians are fleeing in search of safety. It is our responsibility to recognize the basic human right of [...]

Press Release: IILA Reunites Families in L.A. Under Central American Minors Program

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/23/2021 IILA REUNITES FAMILIES IN L.A. UNDER CENTRAL AMERICAN MINORS PROGRAMObama-era program, terminated by Trump, reactivated by Biden, provides pathway for minors to escape gang violence and reunite with parents in U.S. LOS ANGELES, CA - This month, the International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) has received notice of the first 20 refugee approved cases from Central [...]

IILA Attends “Welcome With Dignity Day” to Provide Legal Services to Previously Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Their Families

September 20, 2021 Last month, staff from International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) attended "Welcome With Dignity Day" hosted by our colleagues at Immigrant Defenders Law Center. Families of children who were once held at the Long Beach Convention Center were invited to attend to meet with various organizations providing a range of health, social, and legal services. The event saw 42 previously unaccompanied migrant children who [...]

Press Release: IILA Resettling Dozens of Afghan Refugees, Anticipating Hundreds More

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2021 IILA RESETTLING DOZENS OF AFGHAN REFUGEES, ANTICIPATING HUNDREDS MORELA-based refugee services organization helping refugees find housing, employment, community LOS ANGELES, CA - In the one month since the fall of Kabul to Taliban forces and the launch of the Act Now for Afghan Allies campaign, the International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) has resettled [...]

IILA Applauds Governor Newsom’s & CA Legislative Leadership’s Action to Support Afghan Refugees

September 7, 2021 International Institute of Los Angeles applauds the recent announcement from California Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leadership to request $16.7 million in general funds to provide assistance to Afghan refugees arriving in the state. IILA calls on the California assembly to approve this proposed general fund expenditure this week. This expansion of funding will assist many Afghans arrivals, including vulnerable evacuees under humanitarian parole [...]

How Are Afghan Evacuees Vetted Before Arriving in the US?

September 3, 2021 International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) collaborates closely with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) to resettle refugees. The following information was provided by our partners in USCRI. As of September 2, 2021, 123,000 people were evacuated in total from Afghanistan. Most have not yet arrived in the US. Since August 17, 2021, 31,107 people have arrived in the US: 14% US citizens [...]

Los Angeles Times: “How you can help organizations in California working to resettle Afghan refugees”

August 25, 2021, Updated August 30, 2021 International Institute of Los Angeles is proud to be listed by the Los Angeles Times among California organizations working to support and resettle Afghan refugees. See the full list here: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-08-25/how-you-can-help-afghan-refugees

KPCC 89.3FM AirTalk: “SoCal Is Beginning To Welcome Afghan Refugees, But Challenges Lie Ahead For Resettlements”

August 30, 2021 "Afghan refugees are beginning to arrive in California, where immigrants rights organizations are welcoming them by providing them with resources, housing and childcare help. But there are challenges ahead. As KPCC reporter Josie Huang recently documented, the high cost of housing in Southern California makes finding reasonable accommodations for refugees difficult." "Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about what refugee resettlement efforts look like [...]

Telemundo 52: “Los Ángeles se prepara para recibir a refugiados afganos”

August 31, 2021 "De acuerdo con la administración Biden, serán aproximadamente 50 mil refugiados afganos los que llegarán a los Estados Unidos en los próximos días." Vea el video completo aquí: https://www.telemundo52.com/videos/los-angeles-se-prepara-para-recibir-a-refugiados-afganos/2214086/

Spectrum News 1: “Local Afghan American opens home to refugees who have nowhere to go”

August 29, 2021 Since we launched the Act Now for Afghan Allies campaign on August 19, we have received over 750 volunteer submissions to aid Afghan refugees. Spectrum News 1 recently reported on one of our volunteers, Mariam Mardanzai: Hundreds of Afghan refugees will soon be making their way to Southern California. Many will be starting over with no family, place to live or money. Local organizations [...]

FOX 11 Los Angeles News: “Some Afghan refugees settling in Glendale”

August 26, 2021 FOX 11's Jessica Oh caught up with some of the refugees settling in Glendale: "This is where a refugee family from Afghanistan will soon be living and the International Institute of LA is hard at work preparing for their arrival." View the full news story here: https://www.foxla.com/video/971512

NBC4 News: “Helping Afghan Refugees Find Housing in LA”

August 26, 2021 Afghan refugees are now arriving in California, but they now face another obstacle with high rent prices. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on August 26, 2021. View the full news story featuring International Institute of Los Angeles here: https://www.nbclosangeles.com/on-air/helping-afghan-refugees-find-housing-in-la/2680886/  

LAist: “SoCal’s High Housing Costs Snarl Afghan Refugee Resettlement”

August 25, 2021 The refugee resettlement work of International Institute of Los Angeles was recently featured in an LAist article, "SoCal’s High Housing Costs Snarl Afghan Refugee Resettlement." As the article states, we have already received several Afghan families in Los Angeles whom we are working to place in temporary housing while we secure permanent housing: Landlords contacted by the International Institute of Los Angeles have raised [...]

Press Release: International Institute of Los Angeles Ramps Up Resettlement Services for Afghan Refugees

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2021 INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES RAMPS UP RESETTLEMENT SERVICES FOR AFGHAN REFUGEES L.A. refugee services organization launches “Act Now for Afghan Allies” campaign LOS ANGELES, CA - International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) is preparing for the arrival of Afghan refugees to Southern California following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the subsequent mass [...]

IILA Mask Guidance for Early Childhood Education Providers

Thursday, August 12, 2021 IILA is committed to prioritizing the health and safety of the children in our care, child care providers, staff members, and everyone in our communities.  Due to the sustained and substantial community transmission of COVID-19 and the increasing presence of the more easily spread Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus and in accordance with the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order, child care [...]

IILA Support for AB 262: Improving the Record Clearing Process for Victims of Human Trafficking

The following letter was submitted to the California Senate Appropriations Committee on August 9, 2021. Senator Anthony J. Portantino, ChairSenate Appropriations CommitteeState Capitol, Room 2206Sacramento, CA 95814 Re: Support for AB 262: Improving the Record Clearing Process for Victims of Human Trafficking Dear Chairman Portantino, I am writing on behalf of the International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) to express support for AB 262 (Patterson), which will [...]

White House authorizes emergency funds for Afghan refugees

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 International Institute of Los Angeles applauds the Biden administration's recent authorization to increase funding to aid Afghan refugees. In particular, it is critical to expand special immigrant visas for those who are at risk of retaliation from the Taliban for assisting the US government.   There is bipartisan support that could further increase funding for evacuation, relocation, and resettlement of Afghan applicants and [...]

IILA Celebrates World Refugee Day

Friday, June 18, 2021 On Sunday, June 20, 2021, International Institute of Los Angeles is proud to join with the United Nations in recognizing World Refugee Day. World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the UN to honor refugees around the globe and celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World [...]

International Institute of Los Angeles Announces Cambria Tortorelli as Next President/CEO

Los Angeles, CA, May 9, 2021 – The International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) announced today that it has selected Cambria Tortorelli as its next President/CEO.  Tortorelli will succeed E. Stephen Voss who is retiring at the end of May after leading the organization for almost three decades.  Founded in 1914 to help newly arrived immigrants embrace their new lives in Los Angeles, IILA offers childcare centers, [...]

International Institute of Los Angeles Announces Retirement of President/CEO, E. Stephen Voss

Los Angeles, CA, May 7, 2021 – The International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) announced today that, after nearly three decades at the helm of the organization, the President/CEO, Steve Voss, will be retiring at the end of May 2021. As IILA’s President/CEO, Voss has managed programs that have helped hundreds of thousands of immigrants, refugees and low-income individuals overcome barriers to become contributing members of society. [...]

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