April 14, 2021
Riverside County becoming lay-over for asylum-seekers
INLAND EMPIRE – (INT) – More undocumented immigrants are temporarily staying in Riverside County before traveling to their asylum sponsors elsewhere in the US.

Riverside County officials advised Thursday that the current immigration surge is likely to be far greater than the last one in 2019 becoming a complicating factor for control of COVID-19.

Two years ago, an estimated 2,800 immigrants were dropped off in Riverside County where they stayed for up to 3-days.

For the more recent arrivals, the county provides humane, short-term services based on the immediate needs of each family. Without any clear funding path from the state or federal government, these services are funded by the county, including the motel room stays for those requiring isolation and quarantine.

"We are extremely appreciative of the hard work done by nonprofits and County staff to secure temporary shelter for these people in need, but we expect our federal counterparts to step up and address this pressing problem," said County Supervisor Chuck Washington. "Riverside County cannot shoulder this responsibility alone, especially as the numbers are expected to grow."

“This is a federal issue, yet the county is providing safety net services with very limited resources to these individuals and families,” said Supervisors Chairperson Karen Spiegel. “We need support and intervention from the state and federal government before our local resources are overwhelmed.”

Since March 3rd, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been regularly dropping off hundreds of immigrants in the Blythe area and more recently in Southwest Riverside County communities.
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