Chula Vista tops list of most ‘welcoming and integrating’ cities for immigrants

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. (Border Report) — A group called New American Economy has released its annual study, ranking the top 100 cities on how effectively they are integrating and welcoming immigrants.

This year, Chula Vista, a city of about 275,000 residents in south San Diego County, ranked No. 1 overall.

Third Avenue is one of the streets synonymous with Chula Vista in San Diego County, Calif. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

It was followed by Jersey City, N.J., New York City and Chicago.

“We wanted to see how places are helping people become U.S. citizens, small business owners and homeowners,” said Dan Wallace, New American Economy deputy managing editor. “The more cities can do to be welcoming to others, the more they can be welcoming to diversity, and it will help to strengthen local economies.”

According to Wallace, the NAE Cities Index measures integration by studying local immigration policies as well as the socioeconomic outcomes of the local immigrant population to see how they compare to their U.S.-born neighbors.

Some factors measured included language access policies, programs supporting immigrant entrepreneurs and socioeconomic outcomes that included employment and homeownership rates. A total of 51 factors were looked at to determine how well cities create environments that help immigrant communities thrive.

According to New American Economy, homeownership rates for immigrants in Chula Vista is almost as high as U.S. born residents. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

NAE discovered Democratic and Republican mayors alike are welcoming immigrants and fighting to make sure “all of their residents have the opportunity to contribute and succeed.”

The top 10 cities, in terms of overall score, in the 2020 edition of the NAE Cities Index are:

  1. Chula Vista, CA
  2. Jersey City, NJ
  3. New York City
  4. Chicago
  5. Baltimore
  6. Newark, NJ
  7. Detroit and San Francisco (tie)

9. Atlanta and San Jose, CA (tie)

The top 10 most improved cities, in terms of overall score, are:

  1. Stockton, CA
  2. Raleigh, NC
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Arlington, TX
  5. Glendale, AZ
  6. Atlanta
  7. Aurora, CO
  8. St. Paul, MN
  9. Phoenix
  10. Tulsa, OK

“The main point we want to drive home is that there is a role for cities to play in immigration issues it’s going to make for a more vibrant community a more prosperous community,” said Wallace.

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