The City of San Diego is joining the push for federal immigration reform.
Mayor Bob Filner joined a local group of immigration activists on Tuesday to fix what they are calling “a broken system.”
They call themselves the San Diego Table on Immigration Policy. The group is promoting pathways to citizenship, a safer border and opportunities to allow legal migration into the U.S.
This comes after a record number of Latino voters helped re-elect President Obama. Now that the dust has settled with Obama’s inauguration, they’re calling for legislative action to fix the current immigration system.
The hope is that with support from local leaders like Filner, San Diego will have a say in immigration policies. This includes everything from deferred action for young undocumented immigrants to border enforcement — an issue not only affecting the Latino community, but the Asian-American community as well.
“There are over 14 million Asian-Americans residing here in the U.S. [and] an estimated 1.2 million are undocumented immigrants,” said Linda Le, Co-Chair of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum-San Diego Chapter.
Earlier today Filner joined members of his council including councilman David Alvarez, labor leader Lorena Gonzalez and several immigrant rights groups during a news conference.
He says as the mayor of a city that is 40-percent Latino that it’s not only a great concern to him, but that it should be a concern to everyone else.
“How do you deal with 12 million undocumented people?” he questioned. “You cannot physically remove them. And if you can’t do that, you may as well do something that is more rational and gets people out of the shadows. If they have driver’s licenses for example, well then you know where they are then.”
The group plans to do follow-up meetings with congressional leaders. They already have meetings set up with Senator Dianne Feinstein.