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Hundreds of migrants seeking asylum being dropped off at local transit centers

Hundreds of asylum seekers being dropped off at local transit centers
Posted at 5:41 PM, Feb 23, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Hundreds of migrants seeking asylum are being dropped off at San Diego transit stations. This comes one day after San Diego County's Migrant Welcome Center, which SBCS ran, closed.

Unmarked white buses went through the Iris Avenue Station all day Friday, picking up and dropping off people from all over the world who are filing claims for asylum in the U.S.

"There's a lot of poverty in my country," said Bubacar Diallo, an asylum-seeker. "There are no jobs, a lot of corruption. I come here to get a job and support my family."

I spoke with a handful of African migrants in French. They say they spent thousands of dollars to fly into Tijuana and then cross the border from there. Yousouff Gassi says he's going to live in New York while waiting for his immigration court date.

"Were you able to pay for your flight?" I asked the migrant.
"Yes, to New York," Gassi said.

For the last four months, the County's Migrant Welcome Center helped migrants like Gassi get to their destinations. But the center closed on Thursday, compelling Lindsay Toczylowski and others to help out.

"It's really nonprofit organizations coming together to step in and do what needs to get done," Toczylowski said.

Toczylowski is a volunteer and works for the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. She says a group of nonprofits paid for a bus to take migrants from Iris to Old Town, where a free shuttle will then take them to the airport. They plan to continue doing this until their funding runs out.

For now, it's enough to send Gassi on his way. He wants to learn English and eventually become a math professor.