/Morning Report: The Real Crisis at the Border

Morning Report: The Real Crisis at the Border

A migrant peeks over the U.S.-Mexico border fence. / Photo by Vito Di Stefano

In a national broadcast from the Oval Office Tuesday, President Trump took his case for a $5 billion border wall directly to the American people.

There is indeed a crisis at the border. But it’s different from the one the president described Tuesday, involving threats to national security, in an attempt to drum up support for an ongoing government shutdown.

Maya Srikrishnan describes how local officials, nonprofits and activists have been increasingly raising the alarm that a humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by Trump administration policies surrounding asylum claims, is indeed brewing at the border.

Overall, border apprehensions — a proxy for illegal crossings — are historically low. At the same time, the profile of people coming to the U.S.-Mexico border is changing. More asylum-seeking families and children are coming to the border.

The County Board of Supervisors talked for two hours Tuesday about how to address the need to shelter migrants who are dropped on San Diego streets without the resources to reach sponsors or to navigate an unfamiliar country. The supervisors seemed to agree that the practice was wrong, but disagreed over how many resources should be spent to help migrants, when San Diego has its own homeless population to address.

In the end, the county went ahead with a recommendation to look for temporary shelter properties. The U-T has more details on the instructions given to staff.

  • Also Tuesday, Dianne Jacob was named chair of the Board of Supervisors, replacing Supervisor Kristin Gaspar in the role. “I’m eager to take the helm of a rebooted board that is open to new ideas and opportunities,” Jacob wrote on Facebook.
  • A Mexican official told KPBS that the main migrant shelter in Tijuana will close.

City Bans Styrofoam Containers, Exposes Tension Among Democrats

A City Council vote on Tuesday to ban plastic foam, also known as Styrofoam, containers exposed tensions within the newly-seated Democratic supermajority.

The measure will prevent grocery stores and restaurants from using Styrofoam containers, unless they obtain a waiver. It also stops restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless a customer asks for one.

Some Democrats representing lower-income communities supported the measure, but expressed reservations it could hurt some small restaurants in their communities that rely on cheap plastic foam containers. They worried it might even force some to close.

Democrats in more affluent, coastal communities don’t feel the same kind of pressure from constituents. Councilwoman Jen Campbell, who represents Point Loma and Ocean Beach, said many restaurants in her district had already voluntarily stopped using Styrofoam.

As Ry Rivard writes, “The ban stems from growing concern about plastic pollution in the ocean. Plastic seems discrete and sturdy when you are holding it, but it breaks down into small chunks and then becomes an intractable pollution problem.”

Culture Report: A Women’s History of the Casbah

Revisit the official history of San Diego’s music scene and you’ll find it as an account written mainly about men, by men. In this week’s Culture Report, Julia Dixon Evans recounts a women’s history of rock at the Casbah in the early 90’s and 2000’s.

The Casbah, which opened in 1989, is hosting a 30-year anniversary celebration all month with special events and reunion tours. Catch the Melvins this Wednesday and Thursday.

Also of important note to dive bar lovers: The new owners of the Aero Club ensured us they aren’t going to change anything in the legendary establishment, unless something breaks.

El Cajon Steps Up Enforcement of Dockless Vehicle Companies

Declaring bicycles, scooters and skateboards a “pervasive” and “significant threat to the peace, health and safety of the community,” the El Cajon City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to regulate dockless vehicles and step up enforcement.

The Union-Tribune noted last month that residents have complained about cluttered sidewalks and unsafe streets.

Riding a scooter or bike into El Cajon won’t necessarily result in a citation, according to city officials. Rather, the companies that own dockless devices must get a business license and provide proof of insurance before they can rent or lease within city limits.

The city also declared that it would impound any dockless devices left on city property for 72 consecutive hours or more.

In Other News

Iran has been holding a U.S. Navy vet and Imperial Beach resident since July, his family told the New York Times. The imprisonment is likely to complicate the already-tense relations between the two countries.

Six family-run eateries in San Diego, El Cajon and Vista have landed on Yelp’s top 100 places to eat in 2019. The ranking was based partly on reviews and price but also whether the restaurant was located in an “up-and-coming neighborhood.” (Union-Tribune)

County supervisors agreed to pay a Lakeside contractor $910,000 to fix damage caused by a fire at the East Mesa detention centers in December. (Union-Tribune)

The Sierra Club, which successfully challenged the county to do more to curb climate change, has been talking with developers about creating a type of local cap-and-trade program. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.