Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) commends the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General for its investigation of childbirths occurring at Border Patrol stations – including an incident in which JFS and ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties brought to its attention in April 2020 – but there is more work to be done to ensure pregnant people and their families are treated with dignity and compassion as they seek their legal right to asylum in the U.S. No one should be forced to give birth in custody or immediately returned to a carceral setting with a newborn baby.
As chief operator of the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services, JFS continues to welcome asylum seekers into our country every day to provide respite and help them reunite with loved ones across the U.S. For the entire COVID-19 pandemic, we have demonstrated that it is possible to both prioritize public health and welcome vulnerable individuals with dignity.
Together, we have created critical infrastructure that has kept our community, staff and migrant families safe, meeting extraordinary needs in historic circumstances. The federal government must continue to rebuild our country’s broken asylum and immigration systems, including investing in infrastructure and in processes that provide humanitarian reception along the border region.
This critical work is only possible with the support of volunteers at www.jfssd.org/helpnow and donations at www.rapidresponsesd.org.
April 8, 2020: ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties and Jewish Family Service of San Diego File Administrative Complaint On Behalf Of Migrant Woman Who Gave Birth At Border Patrol Station: Click Here To Read Release.