Illustration by Jakob McWhinney

An obscure tool at the disposal of federal immigration authorities has been showing up in unexpected places — like schools.

That tool, an administrative summons, is supposed to be reserved for customs investigations, things like illegal imports or unpaid duties, but more than 500 have been sent in recent years to public and private institutions in San Diego County.

As Jakob McWhinney and Jesse Marx report, in one instance, an agent obtained information about the Covid vaccine status of two students at San Diego State University. In another instance, an agent wanted the names and disciplinary records of anyone who accessed a cryptocurrency website at Sweetwater Union High School District.

It’s a hot topic: The summonses have been criticized by legal experts and immigration advocates as a way of bypassing judicial oversight.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s own inspector general concluded years ago that a fifth of the customs summonses at that time had been issued illegally or in violation of federal policy.

Read the rest of the story here. 

Downtown Homelessness Hits a New Record, Again 

The Downtown San Diego Partnership in May once again counted more homeless people on the streets of downtown and nearby areas than ever before.

The latest census tallied 2,104 people and 811 tents.

The downtown announcement came the same week as the release of the region’s annual homeless census for the year, which likewise found an all-time high across the county.

And both come days before the City Council’s Tuesday vote on broad prohibitions on camping within the city that supporters of the measure say could dramatically cut down the encampments that have come to define downtown San Diego in recent years.

Poway Wants to Ban Encampments, Too

Poway City Hall / File photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
Poway City Hall / File photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Last week, the Poway City Council voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance banning overnight camping and personal property storage within city limits.

The latest point in time count, taken in January, found two unsheltered residents in the city. Voice of San Diego intern Kathryn Gray reports that officials admit they are trying to get ahead of a problem that doesn’t yet exist.

Officials pushing the ordinance view it as a preventative measure after the city of San Diego takes similar steps to ramp up enforcement within its own boundaries.  

Read the full story here. 

Politics Report: What Mayor Gloria Had to Say 

Mayor Todd Gloria speaks to an unhoused individual in downtown during the Point in Time Count on Jan. 26, 2023.
Mayor Todd Gloria speaks to an unhoused individual in downtown during the point-in-time count on Jan. 26, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria joined us this week to talk about a proposal to ban homeless encampments on public land. He spoke with our Scott Lewis about it and the homeless crisis in general for an upcoming podcast episode. (Subscribe so you don’t miss it.

But Lewis shared parts of their conversation in the Politics Report. 

Also, last week was Andrew Keatts’ final byline for Voice of San Diego. The politics nerd writes that San Diego Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe has secured another union endorsement. This new one is the third of three endorsements from organizations that have significant interest in county matters. 

“But there is one county union that could still have considerable sway in the race, and which is expected to oppose Montgomery Steppe’s candidacy: the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of San Diego,” Keatts writes.  

Read the Politics Report here. 

The Politics Report is available to Voice members only. Support our journalism here. 

VOSD Podcast: In the latest episode of the VOSD podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña review the new point-in-time count data. They also talk about some old data and a 10-year trend that caught Will Huntsberry’s eye. Plus, drama in the water world. Listen to the full episode here. 

In Other News 

  • Today the San Diego City Council will vote on the city’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning in July and as the Union-Tribune reports, city councilmembers want to make some last-minute tweaks.
  • inewsource reports that San Diego Unified School District is considering opening city-sanctioned campsites for unsheltered people and safe parking lots for people living in vehicles on district property.
  • ICYMI: Voice’s managing editor pulled together a list of stories you need to read before a big upcoming vote in San Diego. Read her newsletter here
  • East Village residents frustrated with loud noise emanating from Petco Park’s Gallagher Square are urging the city to crack down on the San Diego Padres, who they argue are required by law to address the issue, The Union-Tribune reports. The Padres argue otherwise. 

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

Join the Conversation


  1. “San Diego Unified School District is considering opening city-sanctioned campsites for unsheltered people and safe parking lots for people living in vehicles on district property.”
    how does this news effect TODAY’S city council vote??

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