OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:00 PM – Monday, September 18, 2023
In San Diego, California, more immigrants are being dropped off at different transportation hubs.
More than 2,000 asylum seekers were reportedly dropped off in the county just last week, according to a representative for San Diego County District 5.
Immigrants are experiencing their first taste of American culture at the Iris Transit Center. The representative went on to explain that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had dropped off at least 292 people there on Sunday morning alone.
“I have come to the land of safety and freedom,” migrant Mohamed Sweilem told a reporter through a translation app.
Sweilem is from Mauritania, a country in northwest Africa.
“I have been gone for a month or more since my approach,” Sweilem continued, also saying that he was coming from an immigration detention center.
According to employees at local migrant shelters who spoke to the press, they claim to already be at full capacity.
“The most important thing is to reach the dream, which is to reach the United States,” Sweilem said. “I was oppressed in my country.”
“These people are good people, and they provided us with all means and all necessary services. Thank you. Thank you a thousand times, thank you,” he concluded.
Lindsay Toczylowski, a notable immigration attorney, expressed her own thoughts as well.
“One of the best moments we see is when they’re finally able to tell their family that they’re here,” Toczylowski said. “It’s incredibly diverse, we’re utilizing translators, and there are people from all over the world… These are refugees. These are people who are coming to seek refuge in the United States, and the countries that they are from reflect many of the conflicts going on around the world.”
Toczylowski also serves as the Immigrant Defenders Law Center’s director.
Her organization assists illegal immigrants like Sweilem by giving them food, drinks, phone chargers, legal counsel, and more while guiding them through their journey.
However, other individuals, including local San Diego County officials, have voiced worry about the influx of immigrants.
“2,000 migrants from around the world have been dumped in San Diego County in four days. The Biden Admin is rolling out the red carpet for this chaos, showing zero concern for our region’s resources. State & local politicians are offering legal protection & free taxpayer-funded benefits, only encouraging this to continue. We can’t have a country without a border!” San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond of District 5 said.
The mayor of El Cajon, Bill Wells, similarly echoed his feelings of frustration and worry regarding the immigrant drop-offs.
“This is a disaster. Every emergency room is at capacity in SD County. Our homeless shelters are full. Resources are stretched thin,” Wells said.
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