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Anderson wants money for refugees

On Dec. 23, Congress approved reimbursing the Federal Emergency Management Agency up to $785 million for costs related to emergency shelters and services to asylum seekers.

District 2 Supervisor Joel Anderson is asking his four colleagues on the county Board of Supervisors to vote cohesively and request some of those federal dollars for county use in an effort to better assist asylum seekers, many of whom are being dropped off in East County.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Specialist Roger Maier confirmed California Border Patrol releases noncitizens “to service providing nongovernmental organizations and other sites in border communities” in coordination with state and local partners.

“CBP works diligently to ensure that releases are conducted in a safe manner and that all non-citizens released from custody are provided essential support upon release and may access However, San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services said in a statement that resources and current infrastructure are stretched to capacity, impacted in part because extreme weather conditions recently affected outbound travel. With capacity for up to 300 asylum seekers daily, the agency has had to limit arrivals released by the Department of Homeland Security.”

According to Anderson, his office was informed over 100 asylum seekers were released to El Cajon since Dec. 23 because no shelter or services were available for them.

“They don’t have food. They don’t have proper clothing. They don’t have health care and they may not speak English. So what do they do when they get dropped off at the El Cajon transit center? There’s nothing but an empty parking lot in a warehouse district. It’s outrageous,” Anderson said.

“I believe that FEMA should be here and helping us so these humans avoid any kind of calamity,” Anderson said.

He also said members of his office requested help from California Governor Gavin Newsom and although financial support is not forthcoming, technical help might be in the cards.

“Well, they cannot help us financially but they have technical expertise of having worked on these issues before and they are willing to help in that capacity,” Anderson said, although he did not elaborate on what that might entail.

The Supervisor will ask for colleague support at the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 10.

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Source: East County Californian

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