Riverside County preps for influx of undocumented immigrants

Jeff Stone: We will provide humanitarian services to anyone released into our county

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. - The Chairman for the Board of Supervisors in Riverside County is asking all county departments to be ready and have a contingency plan in place to immediately address the humanitarian crisis stemming from the country's failed border policies.

Jeff Stone released the following memo on Tuesday:

Dear County Employees,
I hope you all had a great Fourth of July celebration! As many have heard or read, we are facing a potential humanitarian crisis in our county that stems from our country's failed border policies.
As you know, the Board of Supervisors does not make or enforce border policy, but we are the recipients of the impacts when the border is not appropriately safeguarded in accordance with federal law. In the City of Murrieta, there is a U.S. Border Patrol station that is expected to receive 140 undocumented immigrants from Central America. That facility is ill-prepared for any long-term confinement of the frightened and stressed women and children who will be brought there. This facility was constructed as a temporary jail for those apprehended by our Border Patrol in Southwest Riverside County.
After the Border Patrol "processes" these undocumented immigrants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will then take possession of them and disperse them to transportation hubs "if" they have a destination to go to. They are then required by law to report to the closest court facility to face a deportation hearing. By the Border Patrol's own admission, most, if not all, will not show up to court and will ultimately assimilate into the local community. The bottom line is that many of these frightened women and children will need social services and our compassionate care. I am thankful for the many non-profit groups and religious institutions that have offered their generous assistance.
As such, we must deal with the hand we have been dealt, realizing that this deployment of 140 immigrants is only the beginning of thousands more already en route from the southern Mexico border to Texas, and then potentially to Southwest Riverside County. Many of these undocumented immigrants will migrate to all parts of Riverside County, straining the budgets of all 28 cities and the County. We must prepare for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best. As a County, we will provide the humanitarian services to anyone released into our county. I am asking each department listed below to have contingency plans ready to immediately address this humanitarian crisis thrust upon us by the federal government.
1. Department of Public Social Services
2. Mental Health
3. Health Department
4. Sheriff's Department
5. E.D.A. Workforce Development
6. Riverside County Regional Medical Center
I am asking the Executive Office to coordinate our contingency plans so that we are ready to engage these potentially ill, stressed, and frightened immigrants. I am always proud of this County and our ability to step up our work to help the needy when we are asked to answer the call.
Thank you all for your efforts and please keep all these people, human beings, in your prayers with the hopes we can help them should we be called to do so.
Jeff Stone, Chairman of the Board

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