California is joining the Joe Biden administration in welcoming immigrants inside the country based on asylum claims. The state plans to dedicate up to $28 million to provide “quarantine hotel rooms,” medical care, and other services.
The California Department of Finance issued a memo on Thursday announcing the aid for foreigners, even as the state’s citizens and their jobs and businesses are suffering because of coronavirus restrictions.
The Department said it would make the money available to migrants entering through the San Ysidro port of entry near San Diego, California, where they will quarantine for seven to 10 days.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the development:
Tens of thousands of largely Central American asylum seekers are stuck in Mexico under a 2019 policy adopted by former President Donald Trump that forced them wait outside the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings.
President Biden reversed that order this month, allowing migrants with credible asylum claims to enter the country while their cases are considered, as has historically been the approach.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has started to let 25 people through the San Ysidro port of entry each day, according to the state Department of Finance memo, with a goal of eventually processing up to 300 people per day.
The Chronicle reported H.D. Palmer, a spokesperson for the finance department, said California was “stepping in to help the Biden administration implement its ‘far more humane’ immigration policy because of the additional challenges of the pandemic.”
Palmer said he hopes that the federal government will reimburse the state.
“We now have a situation that has not existed in recent years where the state government and the federal government are rowing in the same direction,” Palmer said. “We are doing what we can on the front end to make sure this is done seamlessly.”