San Diego, Calif.- In a move that’s made national headlines, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to provide shelter for asylum-seekers amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
The lone dissenting vote came from newly elected Supervisor Jim Desmond, who raised concerns over who will pay to house the migrants as they seek asylum in the US. The lease agreement with Jewish Family Service of San Diego is for the property at 1501 and 1555 Sixth Ave. The lease term will end Dec. 31. “We are pleased to see the county step up and provide proactive solutions to address the humanitarian crisis facing our community,” Jewish Family Service CEO Michael Hopkins told KUSI-TV.
The San Diego Rapid Response Network, a coalition of human rights, service and faith-based organizations including JFS, has offered humanitarian aid and assistance to asylum-seeking migrants for months, including members of the Central American migrant caravans that arrived in Tijuana in November. The coalition says it has helped more than 5,200 migrants since early November.
Officials from both the county District Attorney’s and Sheriff’s offices wrote letters supporting the temporary shelter as a way to protect vulnerable migrants from traffickers and prevent any major health crisis.
The action by San Diego takes place as the Trump Administration has argued for a wall across the southern US border to stop the flow of migrants coming into the country.
According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, a majority of US voters believe there is a humanitarian crisis at the border.