A man who wasn't on the list to enter the United States holds an infant and waits.
A man waiting to enter the United holds an infant near the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Photo by Chris Stone

Immediate and sustainable help is needed from all levels of government to help keep asylum-seeking migrant families off the street, the San Diego Rapid Response Network announced Thursday.

According to the SDRRN, a coalition of local human rights, service and faith-based organizations, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has released scores of asylum seekers into San Diego and Imperial counties since the end of October. These migrants often have no local support networks and little access to local resources, with some eventually living on the street while waiting to appear at their asylum hearing.

The coalition has provided shelter and humanitarian aid to more than 1,700 asylum-seekers in recent months, but the growing number of asylum-seeking migrants entering the country is putting a strain on the coalition’s ability to continue providing aid.

According to the SDRRN, an average of 80 migrants are released by ICE into the San Diego region each day on asylum claims.

“We can’t do everything ourselves, but I know that we are capable of doing more,” Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom said during a visit to San Diego County last month. “This community needs to do more, the county of San Diego needs to do more, Imperial County needs to do more, the state of California needs to do more to support the county and city efforts, because with all due respect, we’re not.”

The SDRRN urged local governments and the state government to allocate emergency funding for migrant assistance in the San Diego area, funding for the coalition’s general operation costs, humanitarian aid and temporary housing assistance.

SDRRN shelters provide beds, food, clothing, health services, legal assistance and transportation assistance to migrant families throughout San Diego and Imperial counties.

County residents seeking to donate to the coalition’s humanitarian efforts can do so at gofundme.com/MigrantreliefSD and sharejourneysd.org/families. Residents can also apply to volunteer at rapidresponsesd.org.

— City News Service