SAN DIEGO – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors addressed the end of Title 42 Wednesday and the looming local impacts as thousands of migrants eagerly await to land in U.S. soil.
The county is bracing for what’s to come with the impending end of the COVID-era policy initiated by the Trump administration during the dawn of the pandemic.
“We don’t know where we are with the numbers that we’ll have, I think there’s a lot of misinformation about what can and cannot happen,” Chairwoman Nora Vargas said.
Part of the meeting Wednesday included the county’s outreach to handle the surging influx calling for long-term solutions in a letter to the Biden Administration.
“What I’m trying to share with you is that as a County we’re going to do what we can to coordinate and work with the federal government, so they understand the impact it’s having on all of us,” Vargas said. “We need to be able to increase the migrant shelter capacity, that’s our message to the federal government.”
Meanwhile, hundreds await food, shelter and warmth between the U.S.-Mexico border for nearly a week, leaving local emergency crews stretched thin. Emergency services company Falck has been answering calls facilitated through U.S. Customs and Border Protection. According to recent data shared with FOX 5, at the San Ysidro checkpoint, Falck responds to about eight calls per day, and 13 a day in the general border area.
“We responded to 379 patients with the Border Patrol last month, approximately 30% more than April 2022. The past few days have been even busier,” Falck said in a statement. “On Tuesday, we responded to 25 patients in border-related incidents (almost double). Call nature runs the gamut, everything from chest pain (#1) to difficulty breathing to injuries sustained in falls from the fence.”
In regard to the county’s plans to ensure health safety at the border, asylum seekers will be provided with emergency medical screenings.
Vargas said regional centers in Guatemala and El Salvador enacted by the Biden administration should scale back the number of migrants crossing into our border.
Here at home, local Catholic charities along with Jewish Family Services are slated to host migrants seeking refuge, all part of a $35 million investment from the federal government.
“They are concerned about being at maximum capacity, but it’s tough for me to tell you about hypotheticals,” Vargas said.