Newsom talks border issues during San Ysidro visit

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SAN YSIDRO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom met with local leaders and residents in San Ysidro Thursday to discuss the border region and celebrate the opening of a shelter that will temporarily house migrants.

The first bill Newsom signed as governor, AB 72, established “The Rapid Response Reserve Fund” and provided $5 million to help San Diego County find shelter and transportation solutions for recent immigrants and asylum-seekers waiting to plead their case before an immigration court.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Jan. 29 to lease a property in Cortez Hill to the San Diego Rapid Response Network, a coalition of human rights, service and faith organizations that offer humanitarian aid to asylum-seeking migrants, to serve as the shelter.

Governor Newsom also asked residents about the economic impact of President Trump’s national emergency declaration at the southern border.

“We’re definitely hit and we get hit hard,” said Edgar Alaniz, owner of El Rincon restaurant in San Ysidro. Alaniz described a community on edge. He said when the border temporarily shuts down, so does business.

Alaniz, a member of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, said when the border closed for several hours during the busy Black Friday weekend last year, and caused an estimated one-day loss of more than $5 million in economic activity.

“It was like a ghost town,” Lisa Cuestas, CEO of Casa Familiar, told FOX 5. “There were no people in the streets because you just didn’t feel safe. There was uncertainty so that affects the smallest business owner.”

“I wanted to bring to light, and hopefully get others to help us bring to light, a completely different narrative of life, community here at the border,” Newsom said.

Watch Newsom’s full statements below:

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