From SDRRN Steering Committee: Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services, Jewish Family Service of San Diego; Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director, ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties; David Garcias, former president, Local 221 SEIU; and Alejandra Garcias, Dreamer Center project specialist, Southwestern College

The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) condemns the new federal policies that undermine the U.S. asylum system by placing new limitations on a person’s eligibility for asylum. While we have long awaited the end of Title 42 expulsions, people seeking asylum have a legal right to seek protection in the U.S., and any federal policies that prevent this are a violation of that right.

Our country’s immigration and asylum systems are broken. The federal government must invest in humanitarian infrastructure and processes for migrant services along the border region so we can continue to welcome people with dignity and respect. And, the State of California must maintain its investment to assist individuals arriving at our border.

Since March 2020, Title 42 has unlawfully and forcibly expelled thousands of people seeking asylum to unsafe conditions without any right to due process. Under these new policies, thousands of vulnerable families and individuals in desperate need of protection will continue to be left with no relief and no ability to exercise their lawful right to seek asylum in the U.S.

SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services welcomes people seeking asylum into our country every day by providing respite and helping them reunite with loved ones across the U.S. For the entire duration of our operation of the SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have demonstrated that it is possible to prioritize public health while welcoming vulnerable individuals with dignity.

SDRRN will continue to assist the most vulnerable arriving asylum seekers, with additional collaboration and communication needed between all levels of government and other partner organizations to ensure no one stands alone in our community.