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‘You’re safe with us’: Riverside County welcomes dozens of migrant asylum seekers

Riverside County officials and local non-profits are sending a message to immigrants seeking asylum in Riverside County, making sure they know they're welcome and taken care of.

"I want to make sure that I greet these individuals and let them know that you're safe with us," said Supervisor Manuel Perez.

Friday night dozens of migrants were dropped off at the Galilee Center in Mecca, being welcomed in to the Coachella Valley and the United States. They were provided with hygienic supplies and virus protection, as well as a place to rest.

These are people who have had cases awaiting asylum in the U.S. but under the previous presidential administration they had to wait in Mexico. Under President Biden, they're permitted to wait for their asylum to be granted in the United States.

The families made themselves comfortable in their shelter for the night, though they weren't expected to remain in the valley.

"Most of these immigrants don't stay here locally," said Yoaska Machada with Riverside County. "They're just passing and within 2 to 3 days, they're usually out of our county being transported to their loved ones in other parts of the country."

But still, county officials said it's important to take care of these travelers, who've had a difficult road before.

Specialists were expected to meet with each family and screen their health, offer counseling and transport them to local shelters.

Supervisor Perez wrote in a statement in part, "We have a responsibility to help people in need, no matter where they are from... We are here to help them... They are safe with the County of Riverside." 

The county said it was not paying for transportation of the migrants.

As for how many were expected, it's entirely up to Customs and Border Patrol.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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