IBA Forum: Integration of San Diego’s Immigrant Population

In partnership with the City of San Diego and the New American Economy (NAE), this month’s International Business Affairs Forum hosted a virtual discussion on the economic impact of the immigrant population in San Diego and efforts to advance their civic, social, and economic integration. We heard from Mo Kantner, Director of State and Local Initiatives at the NAE, who shared key data on the demographic and economic contributions immigrants make in our community (available here by state and municipality). NAE’s research and reports have been critical in our region’s focus on the integration of immigrants in San Diego and led to the City of San Diego’s “Welcoming San Diego” initiative which launched in 2018. The Chamber was proud to support the initiative and partnered with local nonprofits, educational institutions and businesses to facilitate local immigrant integration and inclusion. As a result, the City of San Diego welcomed its first Immigrant Affairs Manager, Rita Fernandez, our second speaker at the Forum. Rita  shared an overview of San Diego’s foreign-born population and the City of San Diego’s Strategic Plan for Immigrant and Refugee Integration.

The roundtable conversation prompted comments from participants such as Ambassador Carlos Gonzalez, Consul General of México in San Diego, who shared information about the recently launched Colibri MX Scholarship Program. The Consulate and MAAC created the program in December of 2019 to promote access to higher education for  students whose families have immigrated or are of Latino descent residing in San Diego County. 84 scholarships were awarded this year to students providing them with resources needed to fulfill their academic goals. Colibri MX strives to become a catalyst for social networks to support future Latino leaders and build healthier and vibrant communities here in San Diego and across the US.

For more information on the Chamber’s upcoming International Business Affairs Forum, or to register, please visit our website.