Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom appears in San Diego debate before 2018 primary. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher Thursday praised Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a bill including emergency funding to support vulnerable immigrants and asylum-seekers in San Diego.

AB 72 — the first bill that Newsom has signed since becoming governor — is an early action budget allocation, providing $131.3 million from the state’s general fund to support emergencies around the state like San Diego’s migrant support concerns and clean drinking water for some Central Valley residents.

The bill that Newsom signed Wednesday in the Fresno County city of Parlier includes $5 million in Rapid Response Reserve funding to help San Diego County find shelter and transportation solutions for recent immigrants and asylum-seekers waiting to plead their case before an immigration court.

“The state of California’s recognition that San Diego Rapid Response Network and county agencies are filling the gaps left by the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policies is appreciated,” Fletcher said. “The relief funds communicate to the nation, and the world, that California believes humanity has no borders.”

The Board of Supervisors has continuously worked since December to allocate resources to support vulnerable migrants and asylum-seekers. Last month, the board voted to establish a task force to determine long- and short-term solutions for the county’s unsheltered migrant population and to find locations to house asylum-seekers.

The board also voted in a separate meeting Jan. 29 to lease a property in Bankers Hill to the San Diego Rapid Response Network, a coalition of human rights, service and faith organizations that offer humanitarian aid to asylum-seeking migrants.

The coalition said at the time it had helped more than 5,200 migrants since Central American asylum-seekers began arriving in Tijuana in a caravan in early November.

– City News Service