San Diego Immigrant Affairs Office – NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego County Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Nora Vargas presented details of their Immigrant and Refugee Affairs office project on Monday, which they will present to the Board of Supervisors this week.

The office will be the first of its kind in San Diego County and is intended to serve as a centralized hub connecting individuals and families to services.

“We are creating a framework for our future that ensures that San Diego County is welcoming and that everyone feels in their place,” Fletcher said at a press conference Monday. “The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs will be a regional asset, proactively engaging with the community to provide information, educate on important topics and connect individuals and families to vital county and community resources. .

“The creation of this office will repair some of the damage done by old policies by making it clear that immigrants belong and are a vital part of our region,” Fletcher added.

According to the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, more than 20% of people in San Diego were born in other countries and speak 68 different languages.

“As the first immigrant elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, it is an honor to champion such a personal initiative for me,” said Vargas. “To achieve our vision of creating stronger, healthier communities, the Immigrant Office and Refugee Affairs will work for everyone by creating a central hub of services and resources and increasing the positive contributions our communities make. immigrants and refugees have on our economy and our culture. ”

The role of the office will be to connect community members and stakeholders to services and, where there are gaps, to inform the council of policy changes that need to occur. It will also partner with the Public Defender’s Appointed Advocates Office to link for referrals to the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Program for Detained Immigrants at Risk of Deportation and can help connect individuals to legal resources from trust in the community.

The county manager has already allocated $ 750,000 in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-22 for programs for immigrants, but this policy seeks to increase that number to $ 2 million and with five full-time staff to support .

Some of the 82 organizations represented in coalitions committed to supporting this policy were present at the press conference and spoke, including: Jewish Family Services of San Diego, MAS PACE, MAAC Project, Border Angels, Karen Organization of San Diego, San Diego Organizing Project, San Diego Rapid Response Network, and Investing in San Diego Families.

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