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San Diego Pushing Effort Aimed At Welcoming Immigrants And New Citizens
Monday, February 4, 2019
Photo by Matt Hoffman
City and county leaders along with members of the business community gathered Monday to announce their commitment to helping immigrants successfully integrate into San Diego.
For over a year a “Welcoming San Diego” steering committee has been working on the idea.
A five-year plan has 20 different recommendations for immigrant and refugee integration — things like creating an office for immigration advancement, job training and career placement. Now those recommendations have to be implemented.
"That’s why I’m pleased to announce that I’m creating the city of San Diego’s first immigrant affairs position," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. "And this individual will be responsible for all the recommendations and determining the feasibility and timelines for implementing each of the long- and short-term goals."
Funding for the proposed immigrant affairs position still needs to be approved by the city council. The council is expected to take up the mayor's mid-year budget proposal, which includes funding for the position, on Feb. 11.
The steering committee also recommended reducing barriers toward home ownership and ensuring housing stability for immigrants. That is in addition to promoting entrepreneurship and supporting immigrant-owned businesses.
"We hope this is not just a strategic plan that just kind of dies away," said Business for Good board member Juan Pablo Sanchez, who also owns the restaurant Super Cocina. "We really want some action some to be taken by our government and local elected officials and it sounds like we have a lot of support behind it."
Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the recommendations along with the proposed immigrant affairs position will help coordinate local resources for immigrants who are an important part of the local economy.
"To bring that all to say there is a place where you can go — there is somebody that you can talk to and there are resources to help folks get on their feet," Faulconer said. "Start that new business, help provide educational opportunities."
A five-year plan has 20 different recommendations for immigrant and refugee integration — things like creating an office for immigration advancement, job training and career placement.
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