Skip to main content
Visit the Midday Edition homepage

San Diego Studies How To Improve Immigrant Outreach

February 6, 2018 1:51 p.m.

>San Diego Studies How To Improve Immigrant Outreach

GUESTS:

Samuel Tsoi, organizer, Welcoming San Diego

Joel Day, executive director, San Diego Human Relations Commission

Related Story: San Diego Studies How To Improve Immigrant Outreach

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> MORE THAN A QUARTER OF THE PEOPLE IN THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO ARE IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES. THE CITY IS WORKING ON HOW YOU CAN DO A BETTER JOB OF INTEGRATING THEM INTO LIFE. THE COALITION OF POLITICIANS AND LEADERS IS STUDYING THE PROBLEM AND THEY ARE CALLED WELCOME IN SAN DIEGO. IT'S A YEAR-LONG PROJECT THAT SHOULD WRAP UP THIS FALL. JOINING ME SAMUEL.
>> IS GOOD TO BE HERE.
>> WHAT ARE THE MOST TANGIBLE WAYS THAT SAN DIEGO COULD BE MORE WELCOMING TO IMMIGRANTS ?
>> AT OUR KICKOFF LAST FRIDAY WE BROKE DOWN INTO FIVE DIFFERENT GROUPS OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND LEADERS TO TALK ABOUT DIFFERENT STRATEGIES. ONE OF THE MOST PRACTICAL STRATEGIES AND OUTCOMES IS BETTER ACCESS ACROSS THE BOARD.
>> JUST PERHAPS YOU CAN SAY WHAT OTHER WAYS PEOPLE MIGHT SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS WITHOUT THE REFORMS.
>> WE SEE AMONG REFUGEE COMMUNITY A LOT OF FOLKS COMING FROM PLACES WHERE THEY HAVE TRIBAL LANGUAGES OR THEY MIGHT JUST HAVE A FEAR OR ANXIETY AROUND APPROACHING AUTHORITY FIGURES. HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE INCLUDED IN THE DECISION-MAKING AND INVITED TO PARTICIPATE. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE TRYING TO MODEL. TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE THAT WANTS INPUT CAN COME AT THE TABLE AND HAVE THEIR VOICES HEARD.
>> YOU HAD A SERIES OF BRAINSTORMING LAST WEEK, CAME OUT OF THAT ?
>> IT'S GONNA BE GREAT FOR THE REPORT THAT WE ARE PUTTING TOGETHER FOR THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL. WE ARE EXCITED TO TALK ABOUT ENGAGEMENT ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY, ABOUT ECONOMIC AND EDUCATIONAL INTEGRATION. WE HAD LEADERS ON THE GROUND DOING THE WORK SUPPORTING OUR REFUGEE COMMUNITIES. WHAT WE ARE GOING TO BE FOCUSING ON IS REALLY BEING THAT COLLABORATION ZONE. BEING THE GROUP THAT GETS TOGETHER TO QUARTERBACK THE EFFORT THAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS ENGAGED IN.
>> A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE ON THE GROUND IN SAN DIEGO. PEOPLE ARE ALREADY ENGAGING IN A LOT OF OUTREACH AND ACCESS ISSUES LIKE SAM WAS TALKING ABOUT. ONE OF THE BIG GAPS THAT WE HAVE IDENTIFIED IS THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT EACH OTHER IS DOING. IF WE ARE ABLE TO GET TOGETHER AND COORDINATE THINGS SO THAT WE KNOW WHAT OTHER GROUPS ARE DOING AND CAN BE THAT REFERRAL SERVICE THEN IT WILL BE A BIG WIN FOR US.
>> YOU ACTUALLY USED TO WORK FOR THE OFFICE OF REFUGEE IMMIGRANTS. WHAT KIND OF STRATEGIES DID YOU USE THERE THAT COULD WORK HERE.
>> I BELIEVE IN THE LOW AND LOCAL STATE GOVERNMENT. ALL IMMIGRATION IS LOCAL EVEN THOUGH IT'S A FEDERAL POLICY. IT'S REALLY UP TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE BETTER INTEGRATE THEM WHILE THEY ARE HERE. THE GOVERNOR WILL ABLE TO HAVE -- BE ABLE TO HAVE A DIRECT CHANNEL ON THE LOCAL LEVEL, THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND SCHOOLS IN DIFFERENT AGENCIES ARE ALL IN PART BECAUSE THERE IS A DRIVING LOCAL OFFICE.
>> WHAT RESOURCES IF ANY MIGHT BE DEVOTED TO UNDOCUMENTED [ INDISCERNIBLE ] ?
>> WE DON'T SET THAT POLICY, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT THE POLICY OF WHO WAS IN AND OUT. I THINK IT BEHOOVES US TO TALK ABOUT WELCOMING EVERYBODY MAKING EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD SAFE. THAT IS GOING TO MAKE ALL OF US BETTER OFF. IT'S ALL ABOUT MAKING OUR NEIGHBORHOODS MORE COHESIVE AND BUILDING TRUST IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
>> HOW CAN PEOPLE GET INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS ?
>> WE ARE ENGAGING IN A PROCESS OVER APRIL AND MAY AND THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER TO BRING IN PEOPLE'S VOICES. THE FIRST ELEMENT AND THE WAY FOLKS CAN GET INVOLVED IS BY COMING TO OUR COMMUNITY FORMS. WE WILL HAVE FIVE COMMUNITY FORMS AND IN GEOGRAPHICALLY DIVERSE AREAS IN THE CITY. WE WANT YOU TO BE ABLE TO COME OUT AND TELL US YOUR EXPERIENCES AND STORIES. GIVE SOME CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF HOW THE CITY AND THE REGION BUSINESS NONPROFITS CAN HELP YOU IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE. TO FIND OUT ABOUT THOSE FIVE COMMUNITY EVENTS I ENCOURAGE YOU TO GO TO OUR WEBSITE. ON THE SAME WEBSITE, IF YOU CAN'T COME OUT TO THE COMMUNITY FORMS I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LEAVE A COMMENT ON THAT WEBSITE. THE COMMENT SECTION IS GOING TO BE INTEGRATED INTO WHAT WE DID ON FRIDAY, THE FIVE COMMUNITY FORMS AND QUANTITATIVE DATA. WE WILL PULL THAT INFORMATION IN THE REPORT THAT WILL GO BEFORE THE MAYOR CRAFTING THAT FIVE YEAR PLAN.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.