Border Patrol RELEASES 13,000 migrants onto San Diego streets in a month due to overflowing shelters – as 500 arrive in the city every day
Border Patrol released 13,000 migrants onto the streets of San Diego as the city’s shelters were overwhelmed with as many as 500 new arrivals each day.
San Diego, the largest US city on the Mexican border, has a developed, well-oiled system for sheltering asylum seekers, but is struggling with a massive influx of migrants crossing the border.
Illegal crossings reached a daily average of more than 8,000 last month after a lull following the start of new asylum restrictions in May had a declining impact and people from dozens of countries, particularly Venezuela, were drawn by prospects of work and safety . More than 200,000 migrants crossed the US-Mexico border at the San Diego sector from January to August this year – the highest number in two decades.
To free up space in shelters, US Customs and Border Protection has released thousands of asylum seekers since September 13, dropping them off at transit stations with notices to appear in immigration court at their final US destinations.
Similar releases of migrants took place in Tucson, Arizona, with agents encountering 2,000 people a day and dealing with packed shelters.
Border Patrol released 13,000 migrants in San Diego as the city’s shelters were overwhelmed with as many as 500 new arrivals each day. Photos taken on October 10
More than 200,000 migrants crossed the US-Mexico border at the San Diego sector from January to August this year – the highest number in two decades
Before being released in San Diego, some migrants who are dropped off wait between a double-layered border wall or camp under Border Patrol watch in remote mountains east of the city. CBP closed a major pedestrian border crossing from Tijuana, Mexico on Sept. 14 and assigned more officials to process migrants.
Similar to other US border cities, about 95 percent of migrants in San Diego quickly move to other parts of the country. But the constant flow of exhausted, disoriented migrants from more than 100 countries has created what San Diego County government calls “an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”
In an effort to ease the crisis that has gripped Chicago and New York, the Biden administration said it would resume deporting Venezuelans in another sharp reversal on migration policy that follows the president’s move to to resume construction of the border wall.
Migrant aid groups blame a mix of circumstances for the shelter crisis: reduced government funding; CBP’s practice of sending migrants from Texas and Arizona to be processed in San Diego; and a surge in illegal crossings.
Last week, after a community recreation center could no longer handle the flow of migrants, the Border Patrol resumed drop-offs at a transit center. Arrivals from China, India, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and many West African countries filled a parking lot to charge phones, eat, use the bathroom and wait for free shuttle buses to the airport. “Is California far from here?” An Eritrean man asked for volunteers.
“Many don’t know where they are, that it’s San Diego, it’s (the) San Diego region, the closest airport is San Diego and how to get to their final destination,” said a lawyer
Aid groups say government support is needed, even for the services at the San Diego Transit Center parking lot
“Many don’t know where they are, that it’s San Diego, it’s (the) San Diego region, the closest airport is San Diego and how to get to their final destination. That’s what we’re trying to provide support with,’ says Paulina Reyes-Perrariz, managing attorney for the Immigrant Defenders Law Center’s cross-border initiative.
The Department of Homeland Security said last month it had given $790 million to migrant shelters this year and asked Congress for an additional $600 million.
Aid groups say government support is needed, even for the services at the San Diego Transit Center parking lot, where migrants get travel advice from volunteers over the steady din of railroad bells and bus horns. County supervisors voted Tuesday to spend $3 million to provide airport shuttles, Internet connectivity, snacks and other basic services to migrants for three months.
The Border Patrol dropped off about 400 migrants by early afternoon one recent day as airport shuttles left roughly every hour. Overnight camping is prohibited. Migrants with flights within 24 hours are encouraged to wait at the airport.
The parking lot was a brief stop for Pedro Cardenas, 30, who was booked on a red-eye flight to Newark, New Jersey, after a grueling journey from Guayaquil, Ecuador. Smugglers crammed about 14 migrants into a vehicle meant for five, forcing them to go hours without water or a bathroom break.
The border crisis has overwhelmed liberal cities like NYC and Chicago, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sending more than 50,000 migrants north in a campaign to get Democratic strongholds to share the burden of what he sees as open-borders policies.
Migrant aid groups blame a mix of circumstances for the shelter crisis: reduced government funding; CBP’s practice of sending migrants from Texas and Arizona to be processed in San Diego; and a surge in illegal crossings
In California, the Salvation Army facilitated flights to NYC and other parts of the country for asylum seekers, using FEMA funds to pay for the tickets.
New York City received the largest share of the buses, with 18,500 asylum seekers arriving since April 2022. Meanwhile, as many as 13,500 migrants arrived in Chicago, 12,500 in Washington DC, and 3,200 in Denver and Philadelphia.
While the liberal cities at first welcomed the migrants with open arms, NYC and Chicago were overwhelmed with the new arrivals, and were forced to turn landmarks and police stations into shelters.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams traveled to Latin America to tell migrants the city is ‘at capacity’ as he claimed to fight ‘propaganda’ that told them they were stuck in a hotel room in the Big Apple would be hosted.
The city is now challenging a unique legal agreement that requires it to provide emergency housing to anyone who asks for it as the city’s shelter system strains under the influx.
In Chicago, more than 10,000 migrants remain in shelters and nearly 3,200 in police stations and O’Hare International Airport. The city government says it has allocated $328 million in aid so far.