Pico-Union: What the Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Needs to Know

The Pico-Union area is one of the most densely populated primarily Hispanic neighborhoods in central Los Angeles, California. Two things set this neighborhood apart from many others in some areas of the country. The average age of most residents is around 27 and the ethnicity [1]is 84.5 percent Hispanic. This is important statistical information for any Los Angeles immigration lawyer. The young age of the people and the ethnicity is an indicator of the type of services, including legal services, that they will most likely need.

To Immigration Lawyer Los Angeles Is HomeMeasuring just 1.67 square miles, Pico-Union is the fourth most crowded residential area in Los Angeles. This is one of the less well-to-do neighborhoods in the state, although movements towards renewal are creating some changes. The name, Pico Union, which is derived from the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Union Avenue, was made official in 1970 by the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency.

The History of Pico-Union

In the 1970s and 1980s, a large number of people escaping the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala migrated to the area. This was the beginning of the area’s Hispanic heritage, but even before them were the Swedish and other European immigrants who made the area home. Some of the majestic churches show the architectural design of old-world Europe. Some sources state that descendents of these early Swedish immigrants played hosts to the Latin Americans seeking refuge from their war-torn countries. Many of the refugees were housed in churches, such as the Angelica Lutheran Church.[2] Other buildings that show the mix of immigrants to the region include large mansions previously owned by Scottish residents.

The area is one of only a few in the U.S. to be designated a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, a designation it received in August 2004.[3] This means that the rich history of the area is so interconnected that keeping the neighborhood intact is of social, cultural and historic significance. Many of the homes are architectural wonders dating back to the 1900s. These buildings are seen as works of art that beautifully depict the cultural and architectural heritage of the different groups.  This in itself is of importance not only to the people that live in and around Pico-Union, but also to the many immigration lawyers in Los Angeles. Residents and non-profits need the guidance and support as to keeping these buildings safe.

A Cultural Melting Pot

Even though the area is primarily Hispanic in terms of ethnicity, the other racial groups in Pico-Union are approximately eight percent Asians, three percent whites, almost three percent Blacks and one percent other. This diversity makes for a cultural mix that helps give Pico-Union a nice cultural neighborhood. In fact, many people visit the area and take a walking tour so as to see some of the historical offerings. Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, says “The buildings are here as touchstones to the past and present. The important thing is that the stories continue as the buildings become home to new cultural organizations and families.”[4]

The Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer and Pico-Union Culture

Any Los Angeles immigration lawyer operating in the Pico-Union area should understand the cultural norms of the population to be able to offer worthwhile service in a meaningful way. In addition, with efforts being made to maintain and protect the heritage and architecture of the area, there will be continued need for legal expertise among the different bodies working on preservation and renewal efforts in Pico-Union.

It is believed that many of the people living in Pico-Union are undocumented. With Los Angeles being a sanctuary city, there is some degree of protection for many of the undocumented residents. Whether this is true or not, what is certain is that they will continue to need the help the Los Angeles immigration attorney can provide them as they seek to live in this country legally.


[1] http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/neighborhood/pico-union/
[2] http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/22/local/me-pico22
[3] http://books.google.com.jm/books?id=CcCjr66CEBQC&pg=PT538&lpg=PT538&dq=how+did+pico+union+get+its+name&source=bl&ots=jVKONCY-Yp&sig=W8eNV4iyyhwjDCGAN1yQDC3qsmc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uLvNUdS_H4zq8gTiv4GICw&ved=0CFkQ6AEwBjgU
[4] http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/22/local/me-pico22

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Do not rely on this article without consulting directly with an immigration attorney about the specific facts of your case. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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