BLYTHE – Riverside County assembled and deployed a team to assist asylum seekers who arrived this morning in Blythe. The county was notified Tuesday that 15 asylum seekers were arriving in Blythe from Border Patrol custody. County staff mobilized to provide transportation for the individuals from Blythe to the Coachella Valley, where the county will work with nonprofit and faith-based organizations to provide COVID-19 testing, temporary shelter, food, clothing and other resources while arranging for their safe travel to sponsors and family members throughout the nation. The county is assisting today and is prepared to assist on an ongoing basis.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, who was in Blythe today visiting a mobile vaccination site in the community, stopped by the Border Patrol station to greet the arriving individuals.
“Riverside County quickly went to work to see how we can provide services and ensure the safety of these individuals,” said Supervisor Perez. “We have recent experience managing a well-coordinated and seamless response and providing compassionate assistance, stepping in as a safety net to fill the interim services that are needed, while making sure there is little to no impact on public safety or the community. I am proud of the county staff for once again immediately coming together for moral and humanitarian reasons.”
County departments involved in the response include Riverside County Housing, Homelessness Prevention & Workforce Solutions Department, Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health, Riverside University Health System – Public Health and Riverside County Emergency Management Department. The county is in contact with state and federal partners.
In 2019, Riverside County assisted over 2,800 migrants and families of asylum seekers traveling through the county. County staff quickly acted as first responders to receive each arrival and provide transportation to nonprofit and faith‑based organizations that filled needs for temporary shelter, meals, clothing, spiritual support and other resources.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county.
Supervisor Perez’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.