County approves plan to aide asylum seekers in San Diego

County approves plan to aide asylum seekers in San Diego

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday morning to develop plans that will assist hundreds of migrant families seeking asylum with aid as they are being released into the county.

The vote came after numerous advocacy groups, such as the Immigration Justice League, demanded that the board declare a county crisis after migrants who were legally allowed in the U.S. were forced to await asylum under harsh conditions in ICE detention centers and refugee camps.

The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), an organization comprised of a large number of humanitarian and faith-based groups working to provide migrant families with aid, similarly called on county leaders to help devise real solutions that would help keep asylum-seeking refugees off the streets and away from prison centers.  

As the public outcry grew, the pressure to actually take action in assisting the families proved victorious. The Board of Supervisors, which recently gained a blue seat in an otherwise historically Republican-heavy board, eventually agreed Tuesday morning to push forward the plans to help out migrant families seeking asylum. 

As noted by SDRNN officials, the actions laid out in the new plan include “searching for government-owned properties to use as either temporary or long-term migrant shelters; creating a regional working group to address short and long-term solutions; and creating legislative policies that would allow the county to provide on-going services to asylum-seeking families” 

“Granting asylum to people seeking protection and freedom exemplifies our long-standing values of compassion, inclusion and justice. The federal administration has turned its back on these fundamental values, but we are pleased to see San Diego County has not. The support of our regional government is critical if we are to continue to assist migrants in need of food, shelter, and travel support,” said Michael Hopkins, CEO of Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

After a long and tumultuous winter at the border, it definitely comes as good news to hear at least some positive situations are moving forward. With a government shutdown primarily because of the state of our own backyard, all good news is much needed.