As a country, we must have borders and ensure that those entering the United States do so orderly and humanely. Seeing the recent images of thousands of people making their way through Central America and Mexico is alarming, and I’m concerned the Federal Government is ill-prepared and has not put the resources in place to adequately protect San Diegans and the asylum seeking migrants.
Title 42 was enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep asylum seekers on the other side of the border until they received permission to enter the country. Last year, over 1,000 asylum seekers dropped off at transit stations throughout San Diego County in a four day span.
Many desperate people on the other side of the border are waiting to seek asylum. However, many waiting to seek asylum are vulnerable and often human trafficked by coyotes who know the system. It’s vital for the safety of our community and those seeking asylum that we have rules and regulations. We must balance providing safe and orderly entry for those seeking asylum while maintaining our security and preventing the entry of those who threaten our communities.
As we approach the unwinding of Title 42, we must be prepared for the potential influx of asylum seekers. The Federal Government must have a plan that ensures the safety and well-being of those seeking entry while maintaining our national security. The border patrol must have the resources and support to handle the situation effectively and efficiently. County government will do our part to ensure public health.
Moreover, we must recognize the importance of treating those seeking asylum with dignity and respect. Dropping people off at transit stations without resources, services, or language support is unacceptable. We need to have an orderly process that ensures the safety and well-being of those seeking asylum, benefiting both our country and those seeking refuge.
Having borders is crucial to our national security. We must work together as leaders to ensure that we bring people across in an orderly and humane manner while preventing the entry of those who threaten our communities. Let us approach this next crisis with empathy, compassion, and a commitment to finding the right balance between security and humanity.
San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond