San Diego – October 4, 2023 – Miles4Migrants, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFSSD), and San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) have teamed up to provide essential aid to asylum seekers left vulnerable on the streets of San Diego. This collaborative effort aims to facilitate 150 flights per week, offering a lifeline to these individuals and families, reuniting them with their loved ones across the United States.
In collaboration with local non-governmental organization partners and grassroots organizations, SDRRN provides shelter, food, water, basic first aid, and transportation to airports or bus stations to assist migrant families. Since 2018, the coalition has assisted more than 163,000 people, 98% of who are traveling through San Diego to meet their loved ones in other parts of the country. With a multifaceted approach, Miles4Migrants uses donated miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to book flights for the most vulnerable individuals.
To further bolster these efforts, JFSSD and Miles4Migrants have launched an online campaign to raise funds to purchase airline tickets for asylum seekers, facilitating their safe and swift reunification with their loved ones across the country. To make a gift, donors can access www.miles4migrants.org/jfs-san-diego.
Glaydon de Freitas, Executive Director of Miles4Migrants, underscored the urgency of the situation. “Our focus is on immediate action. By supporting 150 flights per week, we are not just addressing the critical and urgent situation happening in the San Diego community; we are actively reuniting families, offering them a chance at safety, stability, and a brighter future.”
“Every mile compassionately reunites families and loved ones back together in safety,” said Jewish Family Service of San Diego CEO Michael Hopkins. “Miles4Migrants has been a long-time partner of SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services. You can see the relief and gratitude on asylum seekers’ faces when they receive flight assistance from donated miles and funds.”
The current situation
Starting on September 13, 2023, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began releasing certain groups of individuals seeking asylum onto the streets of San Diego County due to constrained respite shelter capacity. In less than a week, 5,870 migrants were left on the streets by CBP.
About the San Diego Rapid Response Network
The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) is a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys, and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. Core partners include ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, SEIU Local 221, and Southwestern College. For more information or to donate or volunteer, visit www.rapidresponsesd.org.
Miles4Migrants upholds human rights by removing transportation barriers that impact the most vulnerable forced migrants, including victims of war, persecution, torture, and climate disaster. Through innovative fundraising efforts, Miles4Migrants has flown nearly 43,000 individuals to safety from 98 countries of origin. For more information or to contribute, please visit www.miles4migrants.org.