Supporting Local Vets: Supervisor Lawson-Remer & Other Supervisors Advance New County Veterans Center, Program to Keep Together Veterans and Family Members Pursuing Citizenship

News Date

Days before Veterans Day, Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors took two actions to support San Diego County veterans and their families.

First, on the Consent Agenda this morning, the Board continued to advance an idea to establish a new County Veterans Center, as well as to expand services at existing County Military and Veteran Resource Centers. 

“From Miramar to Oceanside to Coronado to Point Loma, my district has one of the largest military and veteran populations in the nation. Our region wouldn’t be what it is without these honorable individuals, and expanding veteran services throughout our County will always be a priority for me,” said Supervisor Lawson-Remer, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors.

During the Discussion Agenda in the afternoon, the Board voted on a policy by Supervisor Joel Anderson to connect and reunite members of the military with family members who are pursuing legal immigration status or citizenship. 

“Families belong together, and we want all members of the military to know about this opportunity to be with their spouse, child, or parent as they pursue the American Dream,” Supervisor Lawson-Remer continued. “I thank Supervisor Anderson for this great idea, and making sure our armed forces know about this existing federal program.”

San Diego County has the largest concentration of military personnel in the nation, with nearly 120,000 active-duty personnel, and nearly 250,000 Veterans, according to the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers. 

Background on Establishing a Center for Military and Veteran Reintegration

In September 2022 the Board directed County staff to explore establishing a Center for Military and Veteran Reintegration in East County. As part of this action, staff was to identify potential sites within the County’s Second Supervisorial District to establish a reintegration center and veteran housing. County staff reported that Centers for Military and Veteran Reintegration can be an effective avenue of delivering services to this population. CMVRs serve as hubs for military personnel, veterans, and their spouses, to access the services they need in order to successfully prepare for civilian life. Services may include education and employment assistance, entrepreneurship, wellness, home ownership, and financial assistance, and are tailored to the needs of this population and provided through a coordinated approach. More information can be found here.

Background on Supporting Military and Veteran Families Seeking Citizenship or Permanent Immigration Status

This action authorized the creation of a pilot program to conduct outreach and education for qualified individuals to use an existing federal program called Military Parole in Place (MIL-PIP). The program is reserved for military members and veterans, and grants spouses, parents, sons, and daughters temporary permission to be in the United States while they pursue legal status. MIL-PIP is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. More information can be found here.