San Diego

San Diego Mayor Proposes New Immigrant Affairs Position

A new city government position will create a bridge between the immigrant community and government agencies as a way to make San Diego a more welcoming for newcomers, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Monday.

The immigrant affairs manager will explore 20 ideas presented as a blueprint for how San Diego can best integrate migrants and refugees into the education, business and community systems of San Diego.

The plan and funding for the new position will be voted on by city council next week. 

Faulconer said the position was designed to help a population that the city is reliant on; immigrants comprise a quarter of San Diego's population, he said.

"Our economy, workforce and future growth are connected to our ability to welcome new Americans to our region," he said.

The blueprint was created by a steering committee with the input of hundreds of San Diegans and dozens of regional businesses and local immigrant rights groups, the mayor said at a press conference at the New American Museum.

Some of the ideas proposed include establishing a welcoming integration office and exploring ways to incorporate immigrants into the city's educational system, to name a few. 

The new position will work with the support of the steering committee to review each of the 20 recommendations and evaluate the feasibility and timeline for each goal, Faulconer said. 

New American Museum executive director Linda Caballero Sotelo was part of the steering committee and said while the ideas will not be implemented yet, the blueprint and the new position are important first steps. 

"It remains to be seen how these items will be implemented but the fact that we're looking at them for the first time, connected, all of us in saying what do we need to do, I think is an important first step," Sotelo said. 

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