If President Trump does mobilize the country to deport all immigrants who crossed the border illegally or stayed longer than their visa allowed, you may have an image in your head of who that could affect.
Today, our Mario Koran offers another one: Meet Jose, a successful businessman with properties around San Diego. He has kids in school, pays taxes and has a view to the sea. He’s been married for 10 years to a U.S. citizen. But now the couple is afraid to drive to Los Angeles or get on a fishing boat.
Due to his past encounters with border patrol, Jose and his wife worry there is no path for him to gain legal status — not because of Trump but because of previous laws passed under President Bill Clinton. “Someone could be married to the president and they would still be ineligible” to gain legal status, according to one immigration attorney.
He is right in the center of the argument about what to do with people who don’t have legal status. The president has changed policies removing formal declarations that Jose and people like him are not priorities for removal. Advocates for no tolerance say it will depress demand for people to come here illegally. But the disruption it would cause Jose and his family were he to be deported would be immense.
• It’s not totally clear yet what is changing from previous presidencies. Neither San Diego, nor California has been a true sanctuary for immigrants who don’t commit any crime beyond coming to the country illegally or outstaying a valid visa. Last year, the San Diego Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 12,857 people who had not committed any crime while here. More than 10,000 others, who had committed a crime, were deported.
Mayor Offers No Plan for Homeless Tax Hike as Feature, Not Bug
Mayor Faulconer’s proposal to fund a convention center expansion will go to voters in November, but riding along with it will be efforts to invest in streets and programs to address our exploding homeless population. It’s a plan that would result in around $10 million annually freeing up for homeless causes, but as Lisa Halverstadt points out, that dollar figure is where the planning ends.
“Instead, the mayor prefers to let current and future city leaders decide,” Halverstadt reports. To the mayor, no plan is a feature, not a bug.
Homeless advocates who panned the measure at a City Council hearing this week will have to decide if they want to support it — whether something now is better than something bigger (or nothing) later. Father Joe’s Villages recently pitched a much more ambitious plan: $531 million plan to create 2,000 housing units. And even more politically worrisome for some folks is the possibility that funding a small homeless project that doesn’t make a dent in the problem may cause people to lose willingness to vote for future funding.
Old Downtown Library: San Diego Explained
Since 2013 the old downtown library has sat vacant as restaurateurs, business people and homeless advocates have eyed the site for their preferred uses. No option so far proposed has impressed Mayor Faulconer, so the building continues to sit empty with no solid plan in sight for what will become of it. Lisa Halverstadt and NBC 7’s Monica Dean take a look at what interesting ideas have been proposed and what the future looks like for the site in our most recent San Diego Explained.
Phantom Street Lights Cost A Lot
A city auditor report identifies major problems in the way San Diego watches its own electric bill, which has resulted in 3,712 street lights being billed to the city that either don’t exist or are duplicates, San Diego Reader’s Matt Potter reports. The bad data has been known for years, but San Diego Gas & Electric is disputing the city’s findings, leading to delays in fixing the problem or getting a credit for incorrect charges. Bad bookkeeping means the cost of the problem to taxpayers isn’t totally clear, but one such mistake in 2015 led to a $1.7 million credit, Potter reports.
Schools Mull How To Pass Toxic Water Test
Hounded by worries that children at San Diego schools are drinking toxic, lead-tainted water, San Diego Unified School District think they may have cracked what the problem is. NBC 7’s Wendy Fry reports the district plans to address the problem of lead showing up in tests by letting the water run for a little while prior to anyone testing it for dangerous chemicals. The likelihood that water tests will be able to detect problems after a tap has already run for a couple of minutes will be much smaller. It is unclear why children who drink from those same fountains hadn’t already thought of that.
• The Union-Tribune checks in with a couple of San Diego restaurant owners on how they are faring the new minimum wage requirements.
• Sewer rates in East County will go up soon, thanks to that whole new toilet-to-tap water system that cleans up sewer water. (Times of San Diego)
• The city of San Diego will pay $150,000 to a family who got attacked by police in their own home. You might remember we did a big story about this case.
• Lifeguards and firefighters cannot seem to agree on who should get the dispatch calls for inland water emergencies. (10 News)
• 100 years ago, America entered World War I. Nobody showed up for a ceremony to mark that historic day on Thursday. (KPBS)
• Somebody is posting the names of San Diego journalists on a scam website setup to falsely accuse people of being sexual predators. (San Diego Free Press)
• California legislators are working on recognizing a third option of “non-binary” on official documents that state a person’s gender. (KPBS)
• Oceanside is good with murals and wants more of them, because they look cool. (KPBS)
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.