Chula Vista Civic Center

Welcoming Week 2019

The Chula Vista City Council has proclaimed September 13 - 22, 2019 as Welcoming Week to recognize and celebrate immigrant contributions to the community. As part of Welcoming Week, a Know Your Rights forum is being held Saturday, September 21, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The forum is co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee US-Mexico Border Program and the Chula Vista Human Relations Commission. More information on the forum is available here.

Welcoming City

The City is part of the Welcoming Network that includes governments, organizations and individuals who are committed to creating inclusive communities where everyone - including immigrants and refugees - can thrive. The Welcoming Network is implemented through Welcoming America, an organization established in 2009, to provide cities and communities with a roadmap and support they need to become more inclusive toward immigrants and all residents

The City also has applied to be a Certified Welcoming City. The Certified Welcoming designation is granted to cities and counties that have created policies and programs reflecting their values and commitment to immigrant inclusion. The designation is reserved for those places that meet the rigorous requirements set out in the Welcoming Standard. The City has submitted an application for Certified Welcoming and is working toward certification.

Human Relations Commission

The Human Relations Commission serves as an advisory body to make recommendations and offer advice to the Mayor, City Council and the City Manager on how best to promote ways in which the community welcomes and embraces its diversity and safeguards equal opportunities for everyone. The Human Relations Commission is composed of 11 members appointed to four-year terms. The Commission meets monthly. Its members are residents of Chula Vista and represent community, business, education, advocacy, and other groups.

Members (as of May 1, 2019)

Paola Martinez-Montes (Chair)
Dalia Gonzalez (Vice Chair)
Petrina Branch
William Felix
Robert Godinez
Ricardo Gutierrez
Nadia Kean-Ayub
Susan Lake
Ricardo Medina
Ahmad Zadah

The Commission is tasked with accomplishing, among other things:
1. The first duty of the Commission shall be to assist the City, by completing all required steps, to become a Certified Welcoming City.
2. The development of a mutual understanding and respect among all such groups in the City and to help eliminate prejudice and discrimination;
3. The establishment and maintenance of contacts with groups in the community which are concerned with protection of civil liberties of all people, resolution of conflict, and interracial and intercultural understanding, and to report to the Mayor, City Council and City Manager regarding the activities of these groups. For more information the Human Relations Commission page.

Communications and Outreach

On May 16, 2017, the City Council approved a Welcoming City Communications Plan that will be implemented to inform residents about the City’s policies, actions and resources regarding the immigrant community.

 This Plan is designed to communicate the following goals:

  1. Increase awareness of City policies regarding immigration 
  2. Assist residents in need to access available immigration services and City services
  3. Engage the Human Relations Commission to guide communications efforts

The Human Relations Commission has a key role in guiding the implementation of this Plan. Through the Commission, communications efforts will be reviewed and implemented, partner agencies will collaborate, initiatives will be pursued, and results will be evaluated.

Chief of Police Statement

Chula Vista Chief of Police Roxana Kennedy issued the following statement in 2017:

The spotlight on the proposed changes in the National immigration policy has caused anxiety and uneasiness in many undocumented individuals fearing arrest and deportation from our community. I want to take the opportunity to put your minds at ease and state that all members of our community matter, regardless of immigration status. The Chula Vista Police Department’s focus is on public safety, not immigration.

The Chula Vista Police Department has long-standing policies in place that are reflective of these values. Per our policy posted on our Department's web page, it is incumbent upon all employees of this department to make a personal commitment to equal service and enforcement of the law to the public regardless of immigration status. If you need assistance, whether you are the victim of a crime, involved in an accident, or a witness to a crime, we want you to call the police with the comfort of knowing your immigration status is not our concern. All individuals, regardless of immigration status, should feel secure that contacting the Chula Vista Police Department will not make you vulnerable to deportation.

I want to emphasize that our police officers do not enforce federal immigration laws. Furthermore, the Chula Vista Police Department does not participate in operations with any federal law enforcement agency for the sole purpose of enforcing immigration laws.

Engaging and working with the community is invaluable to our Department. Our policies are consistent with the best practices of community policing. The members of the Chula Vista Police Department are dedicated public servants who put their community first through some of the most challenging times we have ever faced in law enforcement. As Chief of Police, I could not be prouder to work side by side with the men and women of this Department with the goal of keeping our community safe for ALL individuals.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to protect and serve you.

Legal Resources

A variety of General Legal Resources have been compiled by the City Attorney's office. Please visit this page for links to pro bono, low-cost, and/or sliding scale services available to you in Chula Vista and San Diego County for assistance with civil, criminal, immigration and other law matters.

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