A San Diego County leader said the region is ready and willing to help migrants being flown to San Diego from U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities in other parts of the nation.
“My office has coordinated with our Health and Human Services Agency and The Rapid Response Network; we are ready to do everything we can to help families being flown to San Diego,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who oversees District 4.
Fletcher released a statement Friday afternoon in response to the news that hundreds of detainees from U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas and other sectors would be transferred to San Diego County.
“Donald Trump has manufactured this immigration crisis to drive his political agenda. His inability to lead has put undue burden on local communities,” Fletcher’s prepared statement continued. “We stand ready to help immigrants and protect the public’s health.”
The local leader enforced his position Saturday at an informal question-and -answer gathering with community members at Communal Coffee in North Park.
"We believe these folks should be treated humanely and with compassion," Fletcher told locals. "They're entitled to basic human dignity they deserve, so we'll continue to make sure we have capacity to meet the need and demand of the problem."
Fletcher said a shelter that the county board of supervisors voted to create and operate earlier this year has more room for migrants.
But, just how many more migrants can San Diego welcome?
Fletcher admitted the topic is something he and other leaders will need to devote more time to in the coming weeks.
On Friday, flights carrying detainees from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities began arriving in San Diego for processing.
Three flights a week will arrive in the San Diego sector from the Rio Grande Valley carrying approximately 130 people per flight, Interim Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said.
The detainees will be from facilities that are overwhelmed with a high number of undocumented immigrants, some of whom have claimed asylum, Harrison said.
He said they are not expecting to receive any unaccompanied minors. There is no end date for the program.
The processing takes an estimated two hours per person and includes the collection of biometrics including fingerprints and DNA in some cases.
Flights will land at San Diego International Airport and the detainees will be moved to neighboring Border Patrol stations, including Brown Field, according to CBP officials.
The agency is considering other flights to Detroit, Miami and Buffalo, New York.
Harrison made the announcement at a briefing Friday. NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 attending the media briefing but were not allowed to capture any of the official statements on camera.