tijuana sewage
The Tijuana River which flows throughout the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego. / File photo by Adriana Heldiz

The construction of some 321 meters of border wall across the Tijuana River could start as early as next month, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol told Voice of San Diego’s MacKenzie Elmer. 

The wall across the river, which would feature a gate that could be lifted to let the river water flow, would close a border wall gap that has been on the federal government’s to-do list since 2020. CBP officials say the project is necessary to address health and safety concerns. 

Keep in mind: Right now, a painted line across the river channel marks the official international border and is where the border wall ends. It’s also where in 2018 a group of Central Americans attempted to run into the U.S. at once, before border agents fired tear gas canisters into the crowd.

But some San Diego and federal officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are worried the project would have devastating effects on the watershed and interfere with almost $474 million in committed projects in both countries to stem long standing cross-border sewage contamination.  

One Imperial Beach city official told Elmer he’s worried there could be catastrophic flooding in Tijuana if the gates fail. Flooding at that level would wash out any “pollution control projects we have planned right now.” 

Read the full story here. 

Council Declares Housing a Human Right, Activists Push for More

San Diego City Councilmembers during a meeting on Jan. 10, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to declare housing a human right in the city.

Its resolution didn’t instantly change any city policies – and as a legal expert told the Union-Tribune, it isn’t legally binding.

Council President Sean Elo-Rivera and others said the declaration is instead meant to set an intention for the city to do more to address the region’s housing and homelessness crises.

“This resolution is an opportunity for us to commit to doing better and for the community to hold us accountable to that commitment,” Elo-Rivera said. “I invite that accountability.”

Before the unanimous vote with Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell absent, many advocates including tenants who faced eviction urged the City Council to take steps to act on the declaration. Many called for the city to move forward with stronger tenant protections that Mayor Todd Gloria and Elo-Rivera in late 2022 committed to pursue this year. Elo-Rivera has said he’s hoping for a March or April City Council vote on bolstered tenant protections.

After the vote on the resolution, the City Council got a briefing from the city independent budget analysts on ways to improve housing affordability in the city.

-The City Council also voted Tuesday to conclude the COVID emergency declaration and a controversial vaccine mandate for city employees at the end of February. (City News Service)

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Lisa Halverstadt and Will Huntsberry. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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