Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday that an attorney who has spent nearly 15 years advocating for the rights of immigrants will take over next week as the director of the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Nora Adriana Preciado most recently served as a supervising attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, where she took on legal and legislative advocacy efforts at all levels of government to protect the rights of low-income immigrants and refugees.

She previously was an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School and defended immigrant rights as an attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.

“Nora is an experienced, effective champion for immigrant families, and her energy and expertise will help us ensure Los Angeles remains a city of refuge, belonging and opportunity for all,” Garcetti said. “At a moment when too many in Washington want to separate families and demonize immigrants, Angelenos will keep showing that we’re stronger when we stand together to protect our neighbors and defend our values.”

Preciado, whose drive to become an immigrant rights attorney stemmed from her own family’s struggles with the U.S. immigration system, will begin her role in the Garcetti administration next Monday. She succeeds Linda Lopez, who will serve as an adviser to the Refugee Investment Network.

“Immigrants have always been a vital component of the fabric of this great city,” Preciado said. “I look forward to working with families, communities and advocates across Los Angeles to advance policies that allow all of us, regardless of where we were born, to thrive.”

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