No one stands alone
in our community

tenga cuidado, conozca sus derechos llame al (619) 536-0823

Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) is operating the State of California Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) project for San Diego and Imperial Counties. The DRAI Project is one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance for undocumented adult immigrants impacted by COVID-19. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1,000 in assistance per household.

Please contact DRAI Hotline for San Diego and Imperial Counties at the following numbers:
San Diego County: 858-206-8281
Imperial County: 760-206-3242

For additional information about California services and programs for immigrants, please visit the Guide for Immigrant Californians, which includes information about jobs, wages, and benefits, and small business and housing supports. Visit and learn more about California's response to COVID-19.



How do I apply for the DRAI Program?
Starting May 18th, if you are eligible to apply for this assistance, you may seek assistance with Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS), the nonprofit organization(s) assigned to your county of residency. Individuals will only be allowed to receive DRAI application assistance from nonprofit organizations assigned to their county or region. JFS will help you fill out an application and confirm your eligibility. Please contact JFS directly via the indicated phone numbers or website to ask about assistance availability. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis.

How do I know if I am eligible to receive DRAI?
To apply you must be able to provide information that you (1) are an undocumented adult (person over the age of 18); (2) are not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance, like the CARES Act tax stimulus payments or pandemic unemployment benefits; and, (3) have experienced a hardship as a result of COVID-19.

What documents do I need to apply for DRAI?
You must provide information and documents to verify your identity, home or mailing address, and to show they have been impacted by COVID-19. Contact JFS for more information about the application process and the verification documents required.

Will receiving this assistance make me a public charge and affect my ability to apply for a green card (i.e. legal permanent resident status)?
This disaster relief assistance is not means-tested and is one-time assistance. The federal government does not list this assistance as a public benefit for a public charge consideration. However, USCIS has not issued specific guidance related to this assistance. If you have questions about your immigration status and this assistance project, please consult an immigration attorney.

Is the personal information I give to the nonprofits to apply for this disaster relief assistance protected?
The information you provide to JFS will only be used to confirm your eligibility and provide the assistance to you. JFS will provide general demographic information (e.g. age, gender, preferred language, etc.) to the State of California about applicants, but none of your personal information (e.g. name, address, etc.) will be given to any government agency.

How will I receive this disaster relief assistance?
JFS will deliver the payment card to you either by mail or arranged pick-up. JFS will provide you with additional information after you have completed the application process and your application has been approved.

How long do I have to apply for this disaster relief assistance?
Direct assistance will be available starting May 18, 2020 and distributed until the funding is spent or until June 30, 2020 at the latest. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Given the economic hardship undocumented adults are experiencing due to COVID-19, this disaster relief assistance may run out within a very short period, so we encourage you to apply early.

Please note: Disaster relief application services and assistance are not guaranteed. Applicants may only seek application assistance with the organization(s) assigned to their county of residency.


Know Your Rights Presentations & Friend of the Court Assistance

The federal government's Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, commonly referred to as "Remain in Mexico") forces asylum seekers to return to and remain in Mexico to await their U.S. court dates, depriving them of resources and assistance in the U.S., including legal aid. Of more than 38,000 asylum seekers enrolled in MPP, only about 1% have legal representation. Jewish Family Service of San Diego, which leads the legal services for and is a core partner of the San Diego Rapid Response Network, requested the ability to provide "Know Your Rights" presentations and "Friend of the Court" assistance, in which an attorney informally guides an individual during their hearing, at San Diego Immigration Court. In June 2019, the Department of Justice denied the request.
Because of this denial, and now that all local immigration court cases have been postponed from the docket except for MPP, JFS and San Diego immigration attorneys joined together to advocate for these critical services. The San Diego Union-Tribune explains what happened on Day 1.

Read The Union Tribune Article ››

Read Our Statement ››

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.

San Diego is the largest land border crossing in the world and has been a highly active location for deportations, rights violations, and abuse by Customs Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The SDRRN was activated to respond to increased immigration enforcement activities within San Diego County and humanitarian issues arising at the border, including widespread family separation and unjust deportation of asylum seekers presenting at the Port-of-Entry.

To view the Core Partners, Legal Partners, and Participating Organizations, please click here.

We Need Your Support

Families are arriving in our community in desperate need of our help. They have traveled hundreds, if not thousands of miles to flee violence, suffering, and persecution in their homelands in search of a safer, better life.

Immigration authorities are releasing these families after being vetted by Homeland Security in San Diego and giving them the right to live in the U.S. while they await the outcome of their application for asylum. Learn more in our Newsroom.

Your Support is Vital to Running the Migrant Family Shelter

A migrant shelter was started in late October 2018 to provide meals, medical care, legal services, and travel aid to 200 individuals; nearly 50-60 families a day. Funds are needed for the shelter to maintain its daily operation and provide basic necessities, such as food, blankets and bedding, portable showers, baby/children needs, and toiletries. The funding will also help SDRRN provide free legal representation for these families and fund bond fees.

Donate Needed Items

All shelter guests – babies, infants, children, and adults – discard their old clothes for health and hygiene reasons and are provided with new underwear, clean clothes, and shoes. Before they leave to reconnect with loved ones, asylum-seeking families are provided with additional clothes for what is often a multi-day bus ride.

You can donate these needed items through our Amazon wishlist, which will help families begin their journey in the United States.

In The News

San Diego Union Tribune

Court temporarily blocks Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, then suspends its own order
February 28, 2020

By midafternoon, a group of about a dozen migrants — a mix of parents and children accompanied by Jewish Family Service attorneys — asked to be let into the United States at the gate leading to the San Ysidro Port of Entry from Tijuana. Ultimately, their attempts were denied.

Click here to read the San Diego Union-Tribune story

Wall Street Journal

Fewer Asylum Seekers Have Lawyers Under Trump Administration Policy
January 31, 2020

Asylum seekers who have access to legal counsel are five times more likely to succeed in staying in the U.S. than their unrepresented counterparts. Organizations across our Southern border have stepped up to provide critical legal services to migrants, including JFS. As part of our commitment to supporting asylum seekers, we maintain a WhatsApp line for consultations and distribute “Know Your Rights” videos.

Click here to read the story from the Wall Street Journal

San Diego Legal Service Providers, Human Rights Advocates Launch #Restoreasylumnow Campaign to Call for an End to “Migrant Protection Protocols”
January 29, 2020

Campaign Tied with One-Year Anniversary of “Remain in Mexico” Policy.

Click here to read the press release

On One Year Anniversary of Mpp, National Call to #Restoreasylumnow
January 29, 2020

News coverage regarding the one year anniversary of MPP and the #RestoreAsylumNow campaign.

Press coverage regarding event:

Voice of San Diego | San Diego Union-Tribune | San Diego Union-Tribune (Español) | Times of San Diego (Pre-event) | Times of San Diego (Post-event) | KPBS | San Diego Jewish World | EFE | City News Service | Courthouse News | Fox 5 San Diego | KUSI | El Latino San Diego

San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego Migrant Shelter Finds More Permanent Home
January 13, 2020

For the next two and a half years, the JFS Migrant Family Shelter has a new home at a State-owned building in Linda Vista. Now in its seventh location, the shelter will continue to provide vital humanitarian support, travel assistance, medical screenings, and legal counsel for asylum-seeking families as they search for a better life. Kate Morrissey of the San Diego Union-Tribune takes a first look at the new location.

Click here to read the San Diego Union-Tribune story

Click here for past stories

Call Our 24-Hour Immigration Enforcement Hotline to Report:


(619) 536-0823

Together, we can ensure that no one stands alone in our community.

Individuals seized by CBP and ICE have few resources to defend themselves. The SDRRN stands ready to respond to the needs of vulnerable immigrants and their families – advocating for their safety, providing emergency assistance, and coordinating free and low-cost legal representation to defend against family separation and unjust deportation.

Volunteer Opportunities: For volunteer opportunities with the San Diego Rapid Response Network, please contact the Network Coordinator at
For volunteer opportunities specifically with the shelter, email
Note: These email addresses are not for media queries. Members of the media should contact

Please make a donation to help us carry out this vital work - 100% of your donation goes directly to the SDRRN.

Contact Us

Hotline: If you or someone you know is experiencing an immigration emergency (raid, arrest, checkpoint, and/or harassment) please call the 24-hour emergency hotline at (619) 536-0823.

Immigration Pro-Bono Legal Assistance: For non-emergency immigration legal assistance inquiries, please call (858) 637-3365. This line is staffed by the legal team at Jewish Family Service of San Diego, a core partner of the San Diego Rapid Response Network.

Media Inquiries:

Core Partners

Legal Partners

Participating Organizations (Partial List)

  • 2-1-1 San Diego
  • ABA Immigration Justice Project
  • American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties
  • ACCE
  • AFT – Immigration Committee City College
  • California Western Community Law Project
  • Casa Cornelia Law Center
  • Casa Familiar
  • Catholic Charities of San Diego
  • CSA San Diego County
  • Center of Community Solutions
  • Employee Rights Center (ERC)
  • Legal Aid Society of San Diego
  • MAAC Project
  • North County Immigration Task Force
  • Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE)
  • Price Philanthropies
  • San Diego City College
  • San Diego Unified School District
  • San Diego Organizing Project
  • SEIU Local 221
  • SEIU USWW - San Diego
  • South Bay Community Services
  • Vista Community Clinic

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