FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Diego Rapid Response Network Commends County Board of Supervisors Vote for Plan to Support People Seeking Asylum
Network Calls for Swift Action, Funding from All Levels of Government to Continue, Expand Life-Saving Work
February 7, 2023
SAN DIEGO (Feb. 7, 2023) – San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), 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, applauds the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for voting today to plan for and support people seeking asylum.
The action brought forth by Chair Nora Vargas and Supervisor Joel Anderson calls for the County to “create a response plan to ensure these asylum seekers and refugees are treated with dignity and have access to the resources they need” and “ensure we have the resources necessary to provide the basic needs for asylum seekers and to assist them in traveling to their final destinations.”
“This is a vital first step. As a border community, it is our shared responsibility, including all levels of government, to welcome people seeking asylum with dignity and compassion,” said Michael Hopkins, CEO of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, which operates SDRRN’s Migrant Shelter Services. “As a community, we have continuously welcomed people seeking asylum who are fleeing danger and persecution in their home countries, and we must never stop.”
“This is a humanitarian issue. It is not a political issue,” emphasized Norma Chávez-Peterson, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “The Board of Supervisors has stepped up and shown other municipalities in our region – and beyond – that San Diego County is part of the solution. Now, it must act swiftly to plan and fund the necessary infrastructure to continue welcoming people with dignity and compassion.”
SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services welcomes people seeking asylum into the U.S. every day, providing them respite and helping them join their loved ones across the U.S. Since launching shelter operations in October 2018, the shelter has served more than 120,000 asylum seekers, consistently demonstrating that it is possible to both prioritize public health and welcome vulnerable individuals with dignity. SDRRN plans to continue to assist the most vulnerable of these arrivals.
“The efforts of SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services has been the model for the nation, but without future funding directly from the County of San Diego, our region’s ability to welcome and provide services will be in jeopardy,” said David Garcias, SDRRN steering committee member and former president, SEIU Local 221. “The time to act is now.”
About San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN)
As the operators of SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) in partnership with the State of California, provides food, shelter, case management, and medical and legal services to welcome asylum seekers with dignity and respect.
Together, we have created critical infrastructure that has kept our community, staff and migrant families safe, meeting extraordinary needs in historic circumstances.
We are grateful for the State of California’s continued leadership and support, much of which has made possible the extraordinary success we have had in welcoming more than 125,000 asylum seekers since we launched the SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services in October 2018.