SDRRN In The News
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May 24, 2023
“Our immigration system is broken,” says Kate Clark, JFS’s Senior Director of Immigration Services, as she calls on the public to hold elected officials accountable for rebuilding the immigration system. The Border Patrol recently created a horrific humanitarian situation, detaining hundreds of migrants between the border fences. San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services, which is operated by JFS, stands ready to continue to help asylum seekers, despite restrictive new border policies imposed by the Biden Administration after Title 42 was lifted on May 11.Read Story
May 21, 2023
The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services, which is operated by JFS, is assisting Afghan refugees who were U.S. allies during the war but were left behind when American troops left Kabul in 2021. Thousands are fleeing the country, fearing retaliation from the Taliban. Many know the Biden Administration is clamping down on immigration but are risking the perilous journey from South America through the Darien Gap, which is being advertised on TikTok, Facebook, and WhatsApp by smugglers claiming it is safe. Once in Border Patrol custody, they are considered “aliens,” subject to deportation. The Afghans qualify for humanitarian parole in the U.S., but few have been approved.Read Story
May 19, 2023
Humanitarian groups, including Immigrants Defenders Law Center and the American Friends Service Committee, are calling attention to what they call human rights violations by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Since the lifting of Title 42 border restrictions, the San Diego Rapid Response Migrant Shelter Service, which is operated by JFS, has seen as many as five times more migrants per day than average, according to JFS’s Kate Clark, Senior Director of Immigration Services. Clark says JFS is coordinating the processing of asylum-seekers with federal partners, including the Department of Homeland Security.Read Story
May 15, 2023
The response from local community groups aiding migrants since the end of Title 42 is credited with helping the situation from becoming more dire. “We have seen – especially in our community – the ability for us to move forward together as a … community united in our values of welcoming the stranger,” said JFS’s Senior Director of Immigration Services Kate Clark. Customs and Border Protection has now processed the large groups of migrants the Border Patrol was keeping in open-air holding areas near the border walls.Read Story
May 11, 2023
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.Read Story
May 11, 2023
Community groups on both sides of the border — including the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, WorldBeat Cultural Center, Madres y Familias Deportas en Accion, the Black Contractors Association, Interfaith Community Services, and Friends of Friendship Park — have organized a network of resources to help thousands of asylum seekers hoping to apply for protection after the end of the Title 42 border policy. People who want to donate or volunteer are being referred to The San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter (SDRRN), which is operated by JFS.Read Story
May 4, 2023
JFS says there is continuing uncertainty about what will happen when Title 42 expires on May 11, but that it will continue to assist migrants at the same level it has been doing for the past four years. Border towns across the country are bracing for a possible surge. El Paso has already declared a state of emergency. “We will not be able to service the people we may receive without significant federal resources,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.Read Story
March 28, 2023
The Biden administration’s tough new border policies have created a dangerous bottleneck in border towns, with Mexican shelters reporting massive overcrowding and increasingly desperate conditions involving tens of thousands of people. The policies have sharply reduced the number of migrants crossing into the U.S. “The number of people in our care has been halved since the start of the year,” said Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services for Jewish Family Service of San Diego, which operates the SDRRN migrant shelter.Read Story
February 23, 2023
The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), a coalition of humanitarian organizations led by Jewish Family Service, is condemning a new Biden Administration proposal that will deport asylum seekers who enter the country illegally, or who did not first seek protection in the countries they passed through. “What the administration has announced today is essentially an asylum ban — a reprehensible step backwards,” the coalition said. “Asylum seekers are not the enemy; our broken immigration system is.”Read Story
February 21, 2023
The San Diego Rapid Response Network has proven for the last 4-plus years that welcoming people seeking asylum into our country is possible with humanity and dignity. We condemn the Biden Administration’s proposal today to significantly restrict asylum into the U.S., including requiring migrants to ask for protection in the countries they are traveling through.Read Story
February 21, 2023
The San Diego Rapid Response Network’s blueprint for humanitarian reception of people seeking asylum at its respite shelter network serves as a road map for how governments and communities across the U.S. can build upon the experiences and lessons learned from the model in San Diego.Read Story
February 20, 2023
The State of California will begin phasing out financial support for migrant medical screening centers including the San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services, which is operated by Jewish Family Service. The shelters provide medical screenings, along with COVID testing and vaccinations for migrants seeking asylum. Governor Gavin Newsom says the state can no longer afford to contribute and that he is lobbying the Biden administration to increase aid. “We’re continuing our operations and again calling on all levels of government to make sure that there is an investment,” says Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services for Jewish Family Service of San Diego.
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February 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.Read Story
February 7, 2023
In a unanimous vote, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a comprehensive plan sponsored by Chairwoman Nora Vargas and Supervisor Joel Anderson to ensure that asylum seekers and refugees have access to the resources they need if federal enforcement of Title 42 is ended. The Rapid Response Network, operated by JFS, has welcomed 125,000 asylum seekers since 2018. “Let’s put politics aside,” JFS CEO Michael Hopkins told the Supervisors, “and get back to what matters: Treating people with dignity and humanity.”Read Story
February 6, 2023
Two local leaders on the Steering Committee of the San Diego Rapid Response Network are urging the County Board of Supervisors to support a proposal to provide needed resources for asylum seekers and refugees. Norma Chávez-Peterson, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and David Garcias, the former president of SEIU Local 221, are urging the Board of Supervisors to support the bipartisan response plan – sponsored by Supervisors Nora Vargas (a Democrat) and Joel Anderson (a Republican) – at the meeting on Tuesday, February 7.Read Story
February 6, 2023
Two local leaders on the Steering Committee of the San Diego Rapid Response Network, are urging the County Board of Supervisors to support a proposal to provide needed resources for asylum seekers and refugees. Norma Chávez-Peterson, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and David Garcias, the former president of SEIU Local 221, are urging the Board of Supervisors to support the bipartisan response plan – sponsored by Supervisors Nora Vargas (a Democrat) and Joel Anderson (a Republican) — at the meeting on Tuesday, February 7.Read Story
Opinion: Asylum seekers are lost when it comes to our immigration system. Here’s how Jewish Family Service helps.
February 6, 2023
Jewish Family Service of San Diego directing attorney for immigrant legal defense and cross-border projects Luis Gonzales provides pro-bono legal representation for asylum-seekers, many of whom have stories he calls heartbreaking and horrifying. He criticizes the politicization of immigration courts, saying “It is a shameful time for a country that’s entire foundation is rooted in immigration, welcoming and diversity.”Read Story
February 6, 2023
Ashley Frez-Clark, director of San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services operated by Jewish Family Service, says government officials need to create solutions to support asylum seekers in the US. “The immigration system and its policies for seeking asylum continue to change,” she says, “without consideration of the impact on those needing asylum and the legal and humanitarian organizations supporting them.”Read Story
February 3, 2023
Monica Garcia describes her ordeal fleeing her hometown of Colima, Mexico to escape her gun-obsessed husband’s violent attacks and death threats. Monica and her four children are being represented by Luis Gonzales, Jewish Family Service of San Diego directing attorney for immigrant legal defense and cross-border projects, and are living in temporary housing in San Diego.Read Story
ET TU, JARED POLIS? Buses are not the answer to emergency migrant services and immigration policy reforms.
January 13, 2023
It’s the mayors who have stepped up as the leading problem solvers struggling with a genuine conundrum: What should an effective response to migrant issues look like for the affected cities and towns? A national coordination plan that designates a federal agency or a federally designated nonprofit with strong communications lines into specific cities and towns to handle arrivals’ needs once they are discharged would alleviate some of the chaos. For solutions to short-term emergencies, immigration advocates point to one San Diego organization as a leader in adapting its frameworks to handle the shifting demands of asylum seekers. Naomi Steinberg, an immigration advocate, has called the San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego as “the gold standard” and told The San Diego Union-Tribune, “They have really shown organizations around the country how it can be done and how it should be done.”Read Story