San Diego Immigrant Consortium Chairman Pedro Rios wants the National City City Council to help him shape the country’s immigration policy.
Rios has been working on immigration reform for about 10 years and at Tuesday’s council meeting asked the city to help his organization.
“Lawmakers have told us that they really need to hear from city councils, municipal governments and from local government bodies to provide an opinion on the issue,” Rios said. “We can advocate as much as we want, but unless the policy makers in D.C. hear directly from local governments, what we say to them won’t carry much weight.”
He said he is asking for National City’s help because many people living in the city are foreign-born and a foreign language is the primary language spoken in a lot of households.
National City’s City Council has formed a committee that will draft a resolution supporting a reasonable and humane approach to immigration reform.
Once the resolution is drafted, it will be presented to council for approval or denial on May 7 or 21.
If approved, the resolution will be sent to local legislatures, state Sen. Ben Hueso, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber and Assemblyman Richard Bloom as a letter of support for immigration reform.
If council does not approve, then the resolution is moot.
City Manager Leslie Deese said the city will look at different resolutions at the local, state and federal levels and tailor it toward immigration issues that face National City.
“Some resolutions don’t directly impact National City,” Deese said. “ We need to make a resolution more impacted to National City.”
Rios said he has worked with creating resolutions with the city of San Diego, which has its current policy going to the rules committee; San Diego Unified School District just passed a resolution; the Southwestern College governing board will consider a resolution April 10.
Rios said he’s had ongoing talks with the city of Chula Vista about potentially drafting a resolution too.
“The south part of the county has a high concentration of immigrant groups and would benefit from humane immigration rights,” Rios said.