UPDATED 10:32 AM PT — Thursday, April 4, 2019
San Diego County is suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over the rising cost of asylum seekers. The Southern California county filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the heads of the agencies within the department, claiming the county has suffered from the release of asylum-seeking migrants.
Many illegal immigrants can not be immediately deported and must be allowed to stay in the country to wait out their court case, because of loopholes in immigration law.
Due to limited funds and housing resources, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were forced to stop implementing their “safe release” policy last fall, which provided asylum seekers assistance to reach destinations outside of San Diego.
The county is now left to front the bill for the upkeep of migrant shelters and medical care, which is estimated to cost millions of dollars.
“Our Border Patrol — the job they’ve done is incredible…the job that ICE is doing is incredible, and we have run out of space. We can’t hold people anymore and Mexico can stop it so easily.”
–President Donald Trump
County officials are seeking a permanent injunction, which would require ICE to resume their “safe release” policy and to reimburse them.
This lawsuit is a dramatic shift for San Diego as supervisors last April voted to back the Trump administration’s lawsuit challenging California sanctuary laws.
San Diego County chairwoman Dianne Jacob claimed the lawsuit is not a matter of politics, but of the rising costs of asylum seekers in the county.