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Housing migrants after Title 42 expired

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 21:35:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A local group is asking for your help housing migrants since Title 42 ended. Groups like Catholic Charities have space for up to 1,500 people in places like hotels, but this isn't a long-term solution. So another group thinks host families can help.

As thousands of migrants reach our southern border, many faces uncertain futures. This is especially true if they don't have sponsors while claiming asylum.

"Having a sponsor and having a place to go to is a game-changer in this process," said Alberto Melchor, Program Director of the Safe Harbors Network. "Current big shelters have a 24 or 48-hour time limit because they're assuming hat everybody is off, going somewhere else. But not everybody has supports in Texas, or Kansas or Dallas. So a small portion of that population ends up staying and they don't have any supports."

That's why the Safe Harbors Network is asking for host families as part of a new program. They normally host about 125 people this way, and they're asking for more families to help meet demand.

"We're over capacity right now," sad Melchor. "We're actually stretched beyond our capacity"

Host families may house migrants while they seek asylum, after being released from federal custody. Getting asylum can be a difficult process, according to Tammy Lin, who teaches immigration law at the University of San Diego.

"Most of these folks are likely going to be put in immigration court proceedings, and have an immigration judge hear their case," said Lin. "It's a really high standard. If you look at some of the denial rates that are tracked for immigration judges around the country, pretty much 80-90% is what the judges are at."

Lin says most asylum seekers will go to other parts of the country with sponsors while their cases play out. Then they have to prove they're fleeing persecution based on factors like their race or religious beliefs. The process can take months.

"Until they find an attorney or nonprofit willing to represent them, quickest maybe a year," said Lin. "Likely will be two, three years out before they get their final trial date."

If you're interested in becoming a host family with the Safe Harbors Network, you can visit their website.