Governor Newsom will head to El Salvador Sunday to meet with international aid organizations, asylum advocates and top Central American officials
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom sharply criticized President Trump’s comments today that “we should get rid of the whole asylum system” and “get rid of judges” in immigration cases:
“Since our founding, this country has been a place of refuge – a safe haven for people fleeing tyranny, oppression and violence. His words show a total disregard of the Constitution, our justice system, and what it means to be an American,” said Governor Newsom.
As the White House demonizes asylum seekers and casts immigrants as “invaders,” California is providing an alternative to the reckless anti-immigration agenda emanating from Washington. In his first weeks in office, Governor Newsom signed AB 72, legislation to fast-track state aid to asylum seekers who are being abandoned at bus stations and on the side of the road by the federal government. It was the first bill he signed into law. AB 72 established a Rapid Response Relief Fund of $5 million in immigration assistance, which helped support the opening of a migrant support shelter in San Diego.
This weekend, Governor Newsom will become the first California governor to travel to Central America to examine the root causes of migration and join the world community in being part of a solution for the issues in El Salvador and the Northern Triangle region more broadly. The nearly 1.4 million immigrants from El Salvador, representing one-fifth of its population, account for the second-largest Latin American group in the United States, after Mexicans. Nearly half – approximately 680,000 Salvadorans – live in California. They make up the largest population of Salvadorans in any U.S. state. El Salvador’s rate of people driven from their homes due to violence and conflict – 3,600 out of every 100,000 inhabitants – is second only to Syria. In 2016, El Salvador was the second leading country of nationality, next to China, for persons granted defensive asylum in the United States.