California governor proposes emergency fund to assist vulnerable asylum-seekers
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed an emergency multi-million-dollar fund to aid non-profits in the state that have been assisting vulnerable asylum-seekers and families who were essentially dumped onto the streets and abandoned by federal immigration officials.
“Before last fall, the federal government processed and held asylum-seeking families for up to several days while helping them make travel arrangements with sponsors, mostly in other states,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “The Trump administration ended the so-called safe release policy last October and began releasing migrants after registration and before they connect with sponsors.” In one instance this past Christmas, officials dumped 200 families at an El Paso, Texas, bus station, leaving “local government officials and nonprofit leaders scrambling to house and feed the unexpected onslaught of immigrants.” Greyhound employees told Texas Monthly that some of the families had no idea where they even were. Others asked to use phones so they could try to contact relatives here.
In California, local organizations have been assisting as many as 5,500 vulnerable asylum-seekers with airfare and other accommodations as they make their way to their U.S. sponsors, who are oftentimes relatives. Newsom’s plan would allocate $20 million to split among agencies over the next few years, but he will also ask the legislature for $5 million in immediate funding.
The Trump administration has consistently tried to manufacture danger at the border, but it’s the administration’s treatment of asylum-seekers and other vulnerable people that is the true crisis.