Immigrants Compose 1/3 Of Essential Workers

One-third of the essential workers in the health and agriculture sectors are immigrants providing critical services to residents and businesses.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said this citing the new report from the Immigrant Integration in the City of San Diego.

He made the announcement with UC San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) to commemorate the national Immigrant Heritage Month.

“San Diego has immigrants from around the globe that defines our city and strengthens our diverse communities,” Mayor Faulconer said.

He added:

“This report reinforces that immigrants are essential to our workforce, our economy, and our shared identity.

“Using this data, we can focus our efforts to improve access to opportunity.

“… assist refugees and new citizens as they pursue the American dream right here in San Diego.”

Mayor Kevin Faulconer

Other Report Highlights

According to the report, immigrants had immensely contributed in terms of economics, language, education, and as a leading workforce.

The report said:

“Immigrants in the City of San Diego earned a combined $9.91 billion in pre-tax wages and income in 2018.

“This translates to an estimated $2.68 billion in federal taxes and $946.3 million in state and local taxes.” 

The foreign-born populations in San Diego speak at least 70 different languages and dialects.

The report noted that the most prominent languages spoken being Spanish, English, Filipino/Tagalog, Chinese and Vietnamese.

“About half are bilingual and speak English well; about half have limited proficiency in English,” the report added.

When it comes to the labor force, immigrants composed over 30 percent of foreign-born persons who are 25 years or older.

They have a bachelor’s degree or higher in the City of San Diego.

Among the top five most-common degrees are engineering, business, biology, and life sciences, medical and health sciences, and social sciences.

San Diego’s Story Is Also An Immigrant Story

USIPC Director Tom Wong, associate professor of political science at UC San Diego, led the study on the City’s immigrant populations.

“The data show just how much San Diego’s story is also an immigrant story,” Wong said.

Wong served as an advisor to the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders under the Obama administration.

He currently serves on the 2020 California Census Complete Count Committee.


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