San Diego Rapid Response Network
A collaboration of more than 40 local nonprofit and faith-based organizations, the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) was established in December 2017 in response to increased immigration enforcement activity in the region. By October 2018, the situation escalated with the end of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) “Safe Release” policy, which allowed initially processed, legal asylum-seekers to make travel arrangements to re-connect with their loved ones in the U.S. prior to being released from federal custody. The end of the policy resulted in hundreds of migrant families being released onto San Diego’s streets with no resources and no way of getting to their final destinations. SDRRN quickly stepped in to organize a temporary shelter to house these migrants and help them make travel arrangements.
JWC was tasked with handling all local, regional and national media efforts and responses related to SDRRN and its migrant shelter. This included strategy and messaging of all PR efforts, including coordination with political offices and other CBOs, organization and media coordination of three press conferences in two months, in which all local broadcast and major news publications covered, as well as several national outlets such as Associated Press, NPR, Fox News and more.
As the news spreads, and the humanitarian crisis at the southern boarder grows, JWC remains the lead point of contact for all national, regional and local media requests regarding SDRRN and its migrant shelter. With requests pouring in daily, JWC triages each request to assess its appropriateness and plausibility, and acts as gatekeepers so that SDRRN and shelter staff can focus on their important, on-the-ground work helping asylum-seekers understand the next steps in their legal process and re-unite with their families.