ACLU Commends Newsom’s Funding Proposal for Emergency Services for Asylum Seekers at the Border

Press Contact: Edward Sifuentes, (619) 501-3408
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2019

SAN DIEGO–As San Diego County struggles to address a growing migrant shelter crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom today unveiled his proposed budget for the 2019-20 Fiscal Year that includes a $25 million General Fund investment (including $5 million to be made available this year) for a community-based rapid response program for nonprofit first responders helping migrant families seeking protection from violence and persecution in their home countries.

In response, Norma Chávez-Peterson, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, issued the following statement:

Every person who presents themselves for asylum protection at our border or port of entry has a fundamental right to just and humane treatment. We commend Governor Newsom for his determination to safeguard this human right and his proposed allocation of much-needed emergency funding to address the crisis at the border.

Over the past several weeks, the federal government has abandoned hundreds of migrant families – mostly women and children – on the streets of San Diego without food, transportation or shelter. These are families the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has cleared to pursue their asylum claims. They have a legal right to be here. The manner in which we treat them should honor our shared values of compassion, inclusion and justice.

Gladly, California will once again lead by example with proactive solutions to very real problems caused by the Trump administration’s callous, deeply-flawed immigration policies. The ACLU looks forward to working with the Newsom administration and leaders in the California legislature to ensure the wellbeing and dignity of migrant families in our state.