PRESS RELEASE: Senate Leader Atkins Makes Case for Additional Federal Funding for Humanitarian Aid in San Diego
SACRAMENTO – In a letter sent today to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) expressed support for additional federal funding to reimburse state and local governments and groups providing humanitarian support for new immigrants as negotiations between the House, the Senate and the White House continue.
“The State of California and California communities along the U.S.-Mexico border have answered the call to feed, house, and care for these immigrants,” Atkins said in the letter. “I strongly support efforts to direct funding to governments and local groups to continue these critical efforts.”
In January, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the formation of a Migrant Crisis Working Group, composed of local and state leaders, in order to assess the needs and required response to the influx of immigrants at the California border. The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) – led by Jewish Family Service of San Diego, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, and the San Diego Organizing Project – has been integral in providing services to these migrants that include temporary shelter, access to food, health care and transportation assistance. SDRRN has provided services to more than 14,000 immigrants since last October.
“The State, local governments and community groups continue to have an essential role in this response, and the federal funding through the normal appropriations process that comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is not adequate to meet the needs of the communities being served,” Atkins said in the letter. “The scope of services and assistance needed by new immigrants calls for a strong coalition of federal, state, and local government efforts to protect these most vulnerable and newest arrivals to the State of California.”
Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins