From Michael Hopkins, CEO
As a legal and humanitarian services provider dedicated to working on behalf of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers for the past 103 years, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) applauds the Biden administration’s swift efforts to bring humanity and justice back to our nation.
JFS stands ready to support the implementation of President Biden’s day one announcements and help immigrants navigate these policy changes.
We are optimistic about what the new administration brings, especially when compared to the hatred and intolerance that defined immigration policies over the last four. From the deplorable Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP or “Remain in Mexico”) to the attempted end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, too many in our region have been living in fear for themselves and their loved ones.
There is much to celebrate with regard to President Biden’s memorandums thus far, including the preservation and fortification of protections for Dreamers via DACA and a reversal of the Muslim ban, as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s announcements suspending MPP enrollment and pausing deportations. We look forward to President Biden’s proposed immigration reform bill, which purportedly includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals, keeping immigrant families together through systemic reforms, scaling up immigration services and refugee resettlement, improving immigration court processes, and much more.
Though these efforts are a great start, we urge the Biden Administration and Congress to prioritize providing immediate relief to the 60,000 individuals forcibly enrolled in MPP and returned to Mexico and the more than 8,000 unaccompanied children turned away from our border without due process. They, and we, must ensure all those who seek better lives in the U.S. have the opportunity to assert their legal right to do so — fairly, humanely, and without fear.
In carrying out the tradition of “Welcoming the Stranger,” JFS affirms our Jewish values and honors the contributions migrants have made throughout United States history. We have seen first-hand how immigrants strengthen our social fabric and make San Diego – and our country – more prosperous and competitive in a changing world.
JFS and our partners in the San Diego Rapid Response Network are committed to continuing service on behalf of migrants, including providing respite for asylum-seeking families at our shelter, free legal services and education in response to ongoing immigration emergencies, and more.
Community support funds this vital work via www.jfssd.org.