"As a county, we are preparing for if a sizable number of refugee migrants apply for asylum. When they arrive they should be treated with respect and dignity, and feel that they are welcome."
The above-mentioned was brought up by Nora Vargas, president of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, who also recalled that the so-called Title 42 will no longer be in effect as of today, Thursday, May 11.
The official began by stating that "it is important to mention that Title 42 was implemented in the United States in 2020, as a response to being able to manage public health in the face of the impact that COVID had on immigrants."
Immigration applications from Guatemala and Colombia will be processed at regional centers
Likewise, she emphasized that regional centers have been established by the Biden administration to handle applications from residents of Guatemala and Colombia.
Why is that important? she thought before responding, "Because once these centers are established, people are given the chance to undergo processing so that they can reach their ultimate destination without having to cross the border. And it's crucial for us because we want the procedure to be uniform, efficient, and done with respect."
The District 1 Supervisor added that anyone who can travel to these centers should do so. This district includes those who can reach southern San Diego Bay, including the busy Port of San Ysidro.
Therefore, we advise anyone who can travel to these centers to do so.
More than 35 million have been invested
She also emphasized that Catholic Charities, "which is the fiscal institution addressing this issue, has received more than 35 million dollars in donations. To continue that effort, they are collaborating with UCSD and America's Public Health Challenge.”
Vargas continued, "I recently had a meeting with the various representatives of the San Diego mayors and county supervisors to assess what potential there is to work together.”
She declared, "That problem is very important to me, not just as the first immigrant but also because we have determined that we are an area and a county that will welcome immigrants and treat them with dignity and respect.”
The County of San Diego, she insisted,"is committed to continuing to do its job to ensure that people are safe and have access to medical procedures, but it is important to emphasize that we need help from the federal government."
The first Latina woman elected to lead the San Diego County Board of Supervisors stated, "We need the resources of the federal government because it is important for us to be able to handle the cases of each person so that we can have the capacity (to accommodate) to people while they arrive at their final place of residence and more importantly, to be able to ensure that all the people who come have access to the health they need."
They seek the government for assistance
She said, holding up a brochure with information for immigrants written in English and Spanish, "So we are going to continue coordinating the different opportunities with non-profit organizations, we are going to continue advocating with the federal and state governments so that these resources are accessible to our communities.”
He went on to add that the brochures specifically explain how visitors may use the airport, or "Greyhound," buses to travel to their destination as well as the types of places where they can be.
She also mentioned that they will operate two shelters for the reception of asylum-seeking immigrants, although their exact location has not yet been defined.
We have (organizations like) Jewish Family Service (JFS), and we are aware that San Diegans are people who are interested in helping their neighbors and they are aware that this is a humanitarian problem. "There are a lot of people who ask us where they can volunteer," she said.
She said, "So I am delighted to be able to tell you that it is not the same county that it was before and that we are a county that is more than anything focused on treating all of the individuals who are here with dignity and respect.”