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Power Moves: Big changes at the Office of Immigrant Affairs

September 17, 2019 Category: FeaturedMediumPeople
Miriam Enríquez, who has served as the director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs since the start of the Kenney administration, will depart the office September 20. Amy Eusebio, currently the program director for PHL City ID, will succeed Enríquez as director, effective September 30.

The City made the announcement of the changes September 17. In the release, Enríquez said she had been honored to serve and to witness “how Philadelphians have stayed loyal to our founding principles as a city that embraces everyone, especially immigrants who choose to call this place home.”

Enríquez told Generocity that her departure from the office is “bittersweet.”

“I am going back to my roots of practicing law,” she said. “[It is] a position within the private sector that truly marries the two core skill sets that I have acquired in my 14-year career with the City — my skills as an investigator, gained from my prosecutor days and my skills as a policy maker gained from my time on City Council and OIA. I will be putting these skills to great use in the private sector joining an incredibly talented team of lawyers as senior counsel of investigations and compliance at Comcast.

Enríquez, the U.S.-born daughter of Nicaraguan immigrants, worked on a number of significant programs, policies, and initiatives for the City, including:

Miriam Enríquez, executive director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, speaks to a bystander at the kickoff of National Immigrant Heritage Month this past June. (Photo by Sabrina Vourvoulias)

  • Making the Office of Immigrant Affairs a permanent part of City government.
  • Aa part of the team in The City of Philadelphia v. Sessions, the federal lawsuit in which the City successfully kept the Department of Justice from withholding crucial federal funding.
  • Ending the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS) agreement between the City of Philadelphia and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • Establishing a deportation defense pilot program in partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice to ensure due process for immigrants facing deportation who cannot afford an attorney.
  • Assisting in the development of the City’s Municipal ID program—PHL City ID.
  • Fully implementing the City’s Language Access Program.

Eusebio, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, joined the City of Philadelphia in 2018 as the Municipal ID program director, and was responsible for launching the PHL City ID.

From our Partners

"As a first-generation American, Afro-Latina, and daughter of Dominican immigrants, this role is deeply personal to me."
Amy Eusebio

According to the city’s announcement, Eusebio has more than 15 years of experience working in non-profit social services and her “previous roles included a focus on ensuring the programs she was part of were culturally responsive to the immigrant communities they were intended to serve.”

“As a first-generation American, Afro-Latina, and daughter of Dominican immigrants, this role is deeply personal to me,” Eusebio said. “Not only have I spent my entire career working to advance communities of color, but I have also experienced many of the challenges these communities face first-hand.”

“Through my work in social services, and with the PHL City ID program in particular, I have learned a great deal about the current challenges facing Philadelphia’s immigrant communities,” she added, “and am excited to work with our partners to forge solutions.”

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