Informing the National Perspective on Immigration Reform

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
9:00am - 11:00am PDT
Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
404 Euclid Ave., San Diego, CA 92114
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Materials from this program can be found here.

Immigration issues have attracted significant attention over the past few years as changes in federal policies have ignited debates across the political spectrum. In July 2018, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and BPC Action published a new report, The New Middle on Immigration Reform, which suggests a consensus set of immigration policies that Americans support is more to the right than many realize. The report is based on a nationwide survey, focus groups, and roundtable discussions. 

But where does California fit into this dialogue? In California, where one in four residents is an immigrant and half the children in the state have a parent who immigrated to the United States, grantmakers, local governments, and nonprofits have been working on the issue of immigration for years. However, while many of them fund or work at the local, regional, or statewide level, they may not be engaged at the federal level when it comes to immigration reform efforts.

Philanthropy California and BPC have partnered together to deepen the conversation with California funders, government and nonprofit partners to help inform this national debate by organizing three regional “Policy Salons” on immigration reform across the state.

Join us at "Informing the National Perspective on Immigration Reform" to:

  • Learn about key findings from an analysis of voters across the political spectrum and understand the "new middle" of immigration policies.
  • Discuss how these research findings can help frame a more inclusive and effective local conversation and implementation of immigrant and refugee integration efforts.
  • Gain an understanding of how local funders, government entities, and nonprofits are thinking about the short- and long-term strategies of moving immigrant rights and integration forward.
  •       Understand whether local conversations can contribute to the broader national conversation on immigrant rights and integration.

Light breakfast served starting at 8:30am | Community members working in immigration reform are invited to attend.


Non-solicitation policy: San Diego Grantmakers brings together funders, nonprofits, government entities and businesses to tackle pressing issues. We do our best thinking together. To keep it positive for everyone, this event is an ask-free zone. This means no fundraising or business solicitation at this event.




Theresa Cardinal Brown, Director of Immigration, Bipartisan Policy Center

Theresa Cardinal Brown is Bipartisan Policy Center’s Director of Immigration and Cross-Border Policy. She came to BPC from her own consulting firm, Cardinal North Strategies, LLC. Previously, Brown was Director of Immigration and Border Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Associate Director of Business Immigration Advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association; and worked in the immigration practices of large Washington, D.C.-based law firms. She also served as a Director of Counsel at The Sentinel HS Group, LLC. In 2005 and 2006, she became a member and later director of the Immigration Legislation Task Force in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy. She then served as the first DHS director of Canadian affairs, and subsequently as the first DHS attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. Brown is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Delaware, with a degree in International Relations and Economics.



Michele Stockwell, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, BPC Action

Michele Stockwell is a BPC senior vice president. She also serves as the executive director of BPC Action. Prior to joining BPC, she was policy director for then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, overseeing a policy team focused on setting and advancing the majority’s congressional agenda. Previously, she worked as a senior policy advisor to former Senator Joe Lieberman and as a legislative aide to former Representative Dave McCurdy. Stockwell served as the policy director for Joe Lieberman’s presidential campaign, shaping his platform. In 2004, she joined the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), where she directed PPI’s family, social, and education policies. At PPI, she commented frequently in national media outlets, including National Public Radio, Voice of America, and The Washington Times, and contributed to online journals and a nationally published higher education course book. Stockwell has been selected by The Washingtonian as one of its 100 most powerful women.


Tom Wong, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Tom Wong is an associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego and recently served as an advisor to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) under the Obama administration. He is also Director of the International Migration Studies Program Minor. His research focuses on the politics of immigration, citizenship, and migrant "illegality." As these issues have far-reaching implications, his work also explores the links between immigration, race and ethnicity, and the politics of identity. 

His first book, Rights, Deportation, and Detention in the Age of Immigration Control, analyzes the immigration control policies of twenty-five Western immigrant-receiving democracies (Stanford University Press, 2015). In analyzing over 30,000 roll call votes on immigration-related legislation in Congress since 2005, his second book, The Politics of Immigration: Partisanship, Demographic Change, and American National Identity (Oxford University Press, 2016), represents the most comprehensive analysis to date on the contemporary politics of immigration in the United States.

Steve Eldred, Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment

Steven Eldred is the Senior Program Manager at The California Endowment. He has worked in the San Diego Regional office for The California Endowment since 2001. He leads The Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities strategy for San Diego County, with a targeted focus in the City Heights neighborhood in central San Diego. This strategy is a comprehensive, 10- year commitment to support fundamental policy and systems changes at local and state-levels to build healthy communities where children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. The strategic vision for healthy communities is to achieve significant improvements in issues such as childhood obesity, youth violence, and access to prevention-oriented health care through improvements in physical, social, and economic environments and through systemic integration of efforts among health, human service, education, and other systems of care that impact opportunities for health among children and their families.

Dr. Joel Day, Director, City of San Diego

Dr. Joel Day is a Director at the City of San Diego, where he oversees the City’s 49 public policy Boards and Commissions. He also liaisons as a homeland security advisor on issues of violent extremism and targeted violence. In this capacity, Joel supports San Diego's neighborhoods in dozens of areas of public policy. He is in charge of the Welcoming San Diego initiative, which is a multi-sector effort to advance the civic, social and economic integration of immigrants and refugees.  He also represents the city in many local and global organizations, including the Strong Cities Network, the World Affairs Council, the Regional Hate Crimes Task Force, the Immigrants Rights Consortium, and dozens of others. Dr. Day is also a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of San Diego's Kroc Institute of Peace Studies and a National Security Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. In 2017, Day was named “40 Under 40 in San Diego” by San Diego Metro Magazine.


Linda Caballero Sotelo, Executive Director, New Americans Museum

Linda Caballero Sotelo is the Executive Director of New Americans Museum, a visual arts and oral histories institution whose mission is to celebrate & educate about the contributions of all immigrants post WWII into the American narrative. Caballero Sotelo believes in the power of civic engagement and storytelling, as tools for participation and exposure to arts & culture as powerful catalysts and mediums for the integration, inclusion and celebration of multigenerational immigrant communities as part of the larger American fabric.  Caballero Sotelo has been a contributing writer & editor on issues and topics of race, inclusion, arts, Latina entrepreneurs and advocacy for various publications. She serves as one of the co-founders of the coalition San Diegan’s United for Commonsense Immigration Reform. She is a current board member of the Balboa Park Trust, the San Diego Media Arts Center & Latino Film Festival, is a former Trustee of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, president emeritus of the National Latina Business Women Association-SD, and founder & chair of Latinas Foundation, a 501c3 women’s leadership, advocacy and education forum.

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