Tough Job for City of Dallas' New Head of Immigrant Affairs' Office

Liz Cedillo-Pereira knew she’d face challenges when she went to work for the City of Dallas as the first director of the Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs.But at a time when President Donald Trump regularly labels some unauthorized immigrants as “bad hombres” or worse, and as Dallas and other Texas cities face the realities of Texas’ new anti-sanctuary cities law, she’s really got her work cut out for her.“We’re in challenging times but these are times of opportunity, too,” said Cedillo-Pereira, who became the first person in her newly created post in March. “From the mayor, the city manager to the City Council, people are more motivated to understand the circumstances of those outside their communities.”Dallas is one of more than two dozen cities that have established offices to assist immigrants, according to the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and the nonprofit Welcoming America. Many more cities, or counties, have initiatives that focus on immigrants.Cedillo-Pereira stepped into the city post with the blessings of Mayor Mike Rawlings, a Democrat, and the new city manager, T.C. Broadnax. She has a reputation as an indefatigable advocate of immigrants. She also worked nearly two years for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under then-ICE director Sarah Saldana, a former U.S. attorney for the North Texas.  Continue reading...

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