One in five residents in the Inland Empire is an immigrant. Migration has been a central feature of the region for centuries, and there are now nearly 1 million immigrants living in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. As in decades past, the region’s economic strength and cultural vitality depends on the contributions of immigrants and native born alike.
State of Immigrants in the Inland Empire sets forth the history, resources, and partnerships that support the pressing issues and needs of immigrants in the region. It calls forth key policy issues that have affected—and continue to affect—local immigrant communities. As the region continues to grow, it is important to examine key issues pertaining to its immigrant communities, including poverty, education, employment, and social service needs.
Juanita’s family history in the United States dates well before her own migration from Mexico, and shows the complexity of family ties across both countries. Juanita and her parents first migrated in 1987 when she was a teenager, but her grandfather had already arrived a few decades prior, and her older siblings had been in the United States for over 15 years. Juanita’s family intended to visit temporarily, but ended up staying longer to save some money and eventually ended up living in the region permanently.
Mary was born in the United States, and her parents were able to migrate through a family sponsorship program from Taiwan. Her parents first migrated to the San Diego area, but eventually were able to purchase a home in the city of Chino Hills. Mary’s parents wanted to provide a better future for their family in a place where they could access more resources. For the last two years, Mary has been working as a program coordinator for a nonprofit organization.
Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective
The Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective is an undocumented youth-led grassroots organization in the Inland Empire. They strive to create a safe space for immigrant youth regardless of status, sexuality or other intersections that are crucial to the undocumented identity. They aim to achieve equal access to higher education and justice for the immigrant community by empowering those who are most affected.