Standing with San Diego Leaders, Governor Newsom Offers California’s Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees


Governor Newsom: “California is a state of refuge”

The Governor’s budget includes $25 million for an Immigration Rapid Response Program

SAN DIEGO — Governor Gavin Newsom today met with San Diego officials and nonprofit leaders to coordinate efforts to provide relief and humanitarian aid to asylum seekers. He offered the State of California’s unflinching support for those fleeing violence in their home countries.

“California is a state of refuge,” said Governor Newsom. “Instead of resurrecting a wall or grinding the asylum review process to a halt, our country should be allowing asylum seekers the ability to make their case. While the federal government abdicates its moral responsibility and creates a manufactured humanitarian crisis, California nonprofits and local leaders are stepping up to give assistance to those who have come here.”

Governor Newsom met with Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, and Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Greg Cox, as well as members of the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN). The group is comprised of more than two-dozen nonprofit organizations that provide temporary shelter to asylum seekers, ensure families have access to food, medical care and legal services, and provide travel assistance so asylum seekers can reach their final destination. San Diego elected leaders and the SDRRN are working in partnership with the state to provide services and shelter to asylum-seeking families.

“I’m grateful for the leadership of the City and County of San Diego, the San Diego Rapid Response Network, Governor Newsom and my colleagues in the Legislature, who have all come together to find humane solutions to the public health emergency created by our federal government’s negligence and heartlessness,” said Senate President pro Tempore  Atkins. “This is no panacea, but it is progress, and I will continue to work closely with all parties to protect the health and safety of our community.”

Governor Newsom’s budget proposes $25 million for an Immigration Rapid Response Program to assist qualified community-based organizations and non-profit entities in providing services to asylum seekers, including $5 million for the current year. Of that, $2.2 million will support the proposed migrant shelter being run by Jewish Family Service of San Diego. In addition, the California Department of Social Services has already provided $500,000 to Jewish Family Service to be lead operator of the shelter.

“The Trump Administration has neglected its responsibility but I’m thankful we have a Legislature, a Governor and county leaders who are ready to step up and solve the challenge of transitioning these refugees into American life while they wait for their asylum hearings,” said Assemblymember Gonzalez.  “These are human lives we are talking about. If the Federal government is failing to lead, California and San Diego County is showing it can do more to help address the migrant refugee situation.”