SACRAMENTO April 23, 2019 – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the state is transferring $521,000 from the Rapid Response Reserve Fund – established in the first bill he signed into law – to the Catholic Charities of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, assisting asylum seekers fleeing extreme poverty and rampant violence in Central America.
“California is a state of refuge,” said Governor Newsom. “As the federal government demonizes legal asylum seekers, communities are coming together in California to assist those fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. Our state sends deep appreciation to the faith leaders, nonprofit organizations and local officials who are organizing humanitarian efforts in communities across Southern California.”
According to reports, Border Patrol officials based in Yuma, Arizona are dropping off migrants and asylum seekers at a Greyhound stop in Blythe, California. Riverside County officials are connecting these asylum seekers with local churches and nonprofits providing temporary shelter and resources.
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Governor Newsom’s budget proposes $25 million for a Rapid Response Reserve Program to assist qualified community-based organizations and non-profit entities in providing services to asylum seekers, including $5 million for the current fiscal year. Of that, $2.2 million is already supporting a migrant shelter in Downtown San Diego run by Jewish Family Service of San Diego.
Earlier this month, Governor Newsom traveled to El Salvador to examine the conditions driving families and children to flee their homes in Central America. The Governor discussed regional challenges and economic opportunities with officials and spoke directly to individuals impacted by gender violence, impunity and poverty and announced immigration relief efforts in California.