M4M, JFS and SDRRN join forces to aid migrants at the US-Mexico border


Miles4Migrants, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS), and San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) have teamed up to provide essential aid to asylum seekers left vulnerable on the streets of San Diego. This collaborative effort aims to facilitate 150 flights per week, offering a lifeline to these individuals and families and reuniting them with their loved ones across the United States.

In collaboration with local NGO partners and grassroots organizations, SDRRN provides shelter, food, water, basic first aid, and transportation to airports or bus stations to assist migrant families. Since 2018, the coalition has assisted more than 159,000 people, 98% of whom are traveling through San Diego to meet their loved ones in other parts of the country. With a multifaceted approach, Miles4Migrants uses donated miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to book flights for the most vulnerable individuals. 

To further bolster these efforts, JFS and Miles4Migrants have launched an online campaign to raise funds to purchase airline tickets for asylum seekers, facilitating their safe and swift reunification with their loved ones across the country. To make a gift, donors can access www.miles4migrants.org/jfs-san-diego

Glaydon de Freitas, Executive Director of Miles4Migrants, underscored the urgency of the situation. “Our focus is on immediate action. By supporting 150 flights per week, we are not just addressing the critical and urgent situation happening in the San Diego community; we are actively reuniting families, offering them a chance at safety, stability, and a brighter future.”

“Every mile compassionately reunites families and loved ones back together in safety,” said Jewish Family Service of San Diego CEO Michael Hopkins. “Miles4Migrants has been a long-time partner of SDRRN Migrant Shelter Services. You can see the relief and gratitude on asylum seekers’ faces when they receive flight assistance from donated miles and funds.”

The current situation

Starting on September 13, 2023, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began releasing certain groups of individuals seeking asylum onto the streets of San Diego County due to constrained respite shelter capacity. In less than a week, 5,870 migrants were left on the streets by CBP. 

About the San Diego Rapid Response Network 

The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) is a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys, and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. Core partners include ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, SEIU Local 221, and Southwestern College. For more information or to donate or volunteer, visit www.rapidresponsesd.org.

About Miles4Migrants 

Miles4Migrants upholds human rights by removing transportation barriers that impact the most vulnerable forced migrants, including victims of war, persecution, torture, and climate disaster. Through innovative fundraising efforts, Miles4Migrants has flown nearly 43,000 individuals to safety from 98 countries of origin.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sandy Young/ Molly Pincherli, J. Walcher Communications
sandy@jwalcher.com / molly@jwalcher.com

Sandro Petrilli

How Miles4Migrants helps

We collaborate with a network of global non-governmental organization (NGO) partners who work directly with refugees and migrants to identify and verify individuals who are financially unable to afford air travel. Once our partners submit flight requests, we use donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to eliminate transportation barriers for the most vulnerable individuals affected by war, persecution, or climate disaster. Our goal is to help these individuals reunite with their loved ones and start a new life in a safe environment.

Learn more about us in our FAQ

Support our work

– According to the United Nations, there are currently 108 million individuals forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide.  

– The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Everyone has the right to freedom from fear. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

As migration is often the last option for survival, migrants may embark on clandestine journeys, subject to danger, extortion, and inhumane conditions

Once they finally get legal approval for resettlement, migrants face another challenge that makes the journey seem impossible: the transportation costs.

There are many ways for you to get involved and help us continue our work:

You can donate cash to help us cover operational expenses or contribute your unused air miles, credit card points, or travel vouchers to help us book flights for refugees and asylum seekers. Additionally, you can help us spread the word about our cause and our impact on the lives of those we serve.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, has the power to make a difference. Thank you for considering supporting our mission.

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