Central American Refugees


Central American Refugees


Responding to Central American Refugee Migration

As the humanitarian crisis involving large numbers of refugees from Central America continues to unfold nationally, the following is a brief update of what we know and what Catholic Charities is doing locally in response to the arrival and processing of persons from Central America.

  • Flights from Texas to San Diego have stopped. Prior to that ONLY families with children, NOT unaccompanied minors, were being processed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Diego and El Centro.

  • To date, the overwhelming percentage of persons processed by ICE (97.5%) are leaving ICE custody and are traveling within 24 hours to be reunited with family members residing in locations outside our area, mostly in the East Coast.

  • For several weeks, we have been meeting with nonprofit agencies and representatives from the Border Patrol and ICE in an effort to identify and prepare a response to the needs of Central American families with children arriving in our state.

  • Catholic Charities is currently working with our local coalition and the Interfaith Shelter Network to establish a reception center that will welcome and assist the 10-15 individuals/families who ICE reports currently arrive at local ports of entry daily. Once released by ICE, this assistance will consist primarily of providing hospitality, helping contact the refugee’s family in the United States, arranging travel, distributing items needed during their journey to be reunited with their families, and offering temporary shelter, if needed.

  • Please check our website to monitor the progress of the Reception Center and for opportunity to volunteer and/or donate needed items.

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How To Contact

Refugee Services

4575-A Mission Gorge Place
San Diego, CA 92120
619 287-9454

Refugee Support Center

131 East Main Street
Suite 201
El Cajon, CA 92020
619 326-1961

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer activities include, but are not limited to:

  • English Language Tutor

  • Transportation Assistant

  • Housing Assistant

  • Resettlement Mentor

  • Job Coach

  • … and more!

To volunteer, please visit our volunteer page.

How to support us

We accept donations of home furnishings, hygiene products and back-to-school items.

Contact us at 619-287-9454.


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