San Diego Will House Asylum-Seekers Through Public-Private Partnership

In partnership with a nonprofit organization, San Diego County will allow a vacant county courthouse to house migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to lease the building on Sixth Avenue to the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) through Dec. 31, 2019 for $1. SDRRN and the Jewish Family Service (JFS) will use the space to house and feed up to 200 asylum-seekers per day.

Additional funding from the state for a temporary shelter may also be forthcoming. But until he sees it, Supervisor Jim Desmond says he cannot support the proposal. Desmond was the lone no vote Tuesday. The proposal was introduced by Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher.

The rapid release of asylum-seeking migrants by federal authorities over the past several months has posed a growing problem for San Diego County. U.S. officials say they lack detention space to accommodate the growing number of asylum-seeking migrants and many of them have been ending up on San Diego’s streets.