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SDRRN In The News

Our Newsroom is the place to learn the latest news about the San Diego Rapid Response Network. Browse through our press releases, view or read the latest news coverage.

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Humane, Viable, Cost-Effective Asylum Reception Thriving in San Diego

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.

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California Says It Can No Longer Afford Aid for COVID Testing, Vaccinations for Migrants

The San Diego Union-Tribune

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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SDRRN Commends County Board of Supervisors Vote for Plan to Support People Seeking Asylum

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.

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San Diego County Board of Supervisors Approve Plan to Assist Migrants Should Title 42 End

ABC 10 News, Border News, Fox 5, Times of San Diego, Voice of San Diego

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.”

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Opinion: San Diego County Has Helped Refugees Pursue Asylum Cases. Here’s What More It Must Do.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

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.

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Opinion: San Diego’s nonprofits have helped asylum seekers. Here’s what more the county must do.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

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.

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Opinion: Asylum seekers are lost when it comes to our immigration system. Here’s how Jewish Family Service helps.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

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.”

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Opinion: Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services has welcomed 120,000 guests since 2018

The San Diego Union-Tribune

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.”

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Opinion: My children’s father threatened to kill us, so we fled. Seeking asylum is our only hope.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

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.

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ET TU, JARED POLIS? Buses are not the answer to emergency migrant services and immigration policy reforms.

The American Prospect

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.”

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Border Patrol has continued to leave migrants at bus stations amid ongoing flight cancellations

The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 28, 2022

“At this moment we are grateful to have regained some capacity,” said Kate Clark, JFS’ Senior Director for Immigration Services. “We know the ongoing national travel challenges persist and will be continually assessing capacity to welcome guests into our care post-release from the Department of Homeland Security.”

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San Diego Rapid Response Network Statement Re: SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services Capacity Updated Dec. 27, 2022

December 27, 2022

Due to the extreme weather conditions impacting outbound travel, our resources and current infrastructure are stretched to capacity each night. At this time, we are currently welcoming up to 300 asylum seekers daily. When conditions prevent guests from departing, we have to limit arrivals only to the most vulnerable asylum seekers released by DHS.

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Federal Officials Leave Dozens of Migrants at Bus Stations Across San Diego County

The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 25, 2022

Due to flight delays from winter storms, migrant shelters haven’t been able to move guests through as quickly as normal and are now at capacity, meaning many new arrivals have been left on the streets. Normally, after crossing the border, migrants who are released in the San Diego area go to one of two shelters, one run by the San Diego Rapid Response Network and the other by Catholic Charities. Both shelters provide hotel rooms for migrants to stay in due to pandemic precautions. “These types of events are an important reminder that additional federal resources and meaningful reform are needed to support appropriate border infrastructure that reflects current needs,” Brian Ferguson of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said.

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San Diego Rapid Response Network Statement Re: SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services Capacity Update

December 23, 2022

Due to the extreme weather conditions impacting outbound travel, our resources and the current infrastructure have been stretched to capacity. At this time, we cannot respond to requests coming through the SDRRN emergency hotline to assist in sheltering additional asylum seekers.

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How will asylum work after Title 42 ends? No one knows yet

Associated Press

December 21, 2022

JFS’ Kate Clark, senior director for immigration services, was interviewed about current uncertainties surrounding Title 42, and how looming legal changes will affect asylum seekers in the near future. Lack of information has led to rumors, confusion, and doubts about the government’s readiness to respond.

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This San Diego migrant shelter has become an integral part of the border. Other cities are taking notice.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 18, 2022

The San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego recently welcomed its 100,000th guest since it opened four years ago to help asylum seekers. “It was a happiness to be here,” said 31-year-old Yolanda, who is fleeing cartel violence. “I feel safe.” The article illustrates our emphasis on welcoming and providing care for the most vulnerable of asylum seekers with public health as our top priority. “They are the gold standard,” said Naomi Steinberg of HIAS. “They have really shown organizations around the country about how it can be done and how it should be done.”

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Senator Padilla says he’s frustrated with lack of progress during San Diego border visit

KPBS

September 1, 2022

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla visited the San Diego border region Wednesday to learn how the federal government can support the humanitarian efforts of local advocates. During a meeting with members of the San Diego Rapid Response Network, advocates asked Padilla to help them restore the asylum system, stop the militarization of the border, expand access to Friendship Park and adopt a more welcoming approach to new migrants. “The border is much more than a headline, it’s people’s lives that are impacted every single day on both sides of the border,” said Kate Clark, director of immigrant services at Jewish Family Service.

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Advocates Concerned About Dangerous Residual Consequences of Remain In Mexico Policy

NBC 7, NBC San Diego

August 31, 2022

Immigrant rights advocates met with Democratic Senator Alex Padilla at the San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego on Wednesday to give him a sense of what's happening on the ground at the U.S.-Mexico border. They're applauding the end of the so-called Remain in Mexico policy, but say migrants are still in danger because they're not being processed fast enough.

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Senator Padilla Tours San Diego Border Region, Meets with Local NGOs and Advocacy Groups

August 31, 2022

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, visited the San Diego border region, and joined local NGOs and advocacy organizations to discuss their critical work to protect and welcome asylum seekers and how the federal government can support their efforts. Padilla also highlighted his commitment to protecting the right to asylum and his advocacy to create more legal pathways for migrants to safely arrive and be welcomed into the United States. As part of his visit he toured the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

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CAWTF Holds Press Conference Calling For End to Title 42

Multiple Sources

May 27, 2022

The California Welcoming Task Force held a press conference on Monday, May 23, 2022, to call for an end to Title 42, Restoration of Humane Process for People Seeking Asylum.

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