From SDRRN Steering Committee: Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services, Jewish Family Service of San Diego; Norma Chávez-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

Every day, San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services welcomes hundreds of people seeking asylum released from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with a focus on people coming through the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services’ resources and infrastructure are currently stretched to capacity. We cannot provide respite shelter and services to all the people seeking asylum that DHS is releasing. The shelter will continue receiving up to 300 of the most vulnerable asylum seekers released by DHS daily, including people with medical conditions, families, pregnant people, LGBTQI people, older adults, etc., as space allows.

Presently, we cannot respond to requests coming through the SDRRN emergency hotline* to shelter additional asylum seekers.

The County of San Diego Board of Supervisors has declared multiple times that there is an urgent humanitarian need in the region to assist people seeking asylum at our southern border. To address this, they’ve invested $6 million in a transit shelter in recent months. All levels of government were given advance notice that operations were not sustainable without continued financial assistance. It is our understanding that the funding has now ran out, and without additional resources available from any level of government, people seeking asylum are now being released to the streets of San Diego.

Local organizations will resume providing assistance at transit centers; however, this herculean humanitarian response does not have committed funding. It is not sustainable without government support. As SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services’ capacity allows, we provide support and coordination to these efforts, in addition to welcoming into our shelter any vulnerable people – such as the medically vulnerable – released into the streets by DHS.

This situation is dire, but preventable. We implore all levels of government to welcome people coming into our country and region – to come forward and work alongside existing infrastructure to support the organizations on the ground who are doing this critical humanitarian work.

SDRRN remains committed to welcoming people seeking asylum, with public health as our top priority. No one should stand alone in our community.

To support SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services, visit To support the various organizations working on the ground to meet the urgent humanitarian need, visit

*The SDRRN emergency hotline was created to respond to ongoing immigration enforcement emergencies, such as checkpoints, raids, arrests, and harassment. For more information, visit