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Roundtable: Immigration Enforcement; Issa’s Big Day; SDUSD Budget Math

Border Enforcement, Issa Meets & Greets, SD Unified Gets Ready To Cut


Dan McSwain, columnist, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Kate Morrissey, reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Susan Murphy, reporter, KPBS News

Megan Burks, education reporter, KPBS News


A bigger border wall

More unauthorized immigrants from Mexico are leaving the U.S. than are coming in.

The consequences are predictable.

Crops are already rotting in California fields. Worker shortages are hampering our construction industry. Yet Donald Trump wants to beef up the physical border wall with potential tariffs, taxes, monetary sanctions and more enforcement.

These tactics will mean more and graver consequences for our border region, a region with $357 billion in economic output in 2013.

Mexicans come north to shop, visit family and places like SeaWorld and to make business deals and connections.

San Diegans buy Mexican fruits and vegetables as well as cars, medical devices and electronic gadgets assembled across the southern border and trucked north. Who will buy them with a 20 percent tariff tacked on to the price?

One industry likely to be hit hard if border enforcement is ramped-up and there are large-scale deportations: the restaurant industry. There are signs that the Trump administration is looking at increasing the use of E-verify, an internet-based system that allows employers to determine if someone is eligible to work in the U.S.

It is currently optional for private employers in California.

Mexico has already seen the value of the peso slide 35 percent, and talk of re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement has spooked investors. The prices of gasoline and water have risen sharply and led to protests at the border.

If Trump’s policies maim the Mexican economy further, some say we may get a new wave of immigrants here, wall or no wall.


SDUT: Trump's wall looms over San Diego

SDUT: Workplace immigration enforcement could come roaring back under Trump

KPBS: Trump Lays Out Tougher Approach To Illegal Immigration

LA Times: Trump's deportation vow spurs California farmers into action

Issa meets his constituents

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, told constituents who wanted to talk about health care that a town hall would cost $50,000.

The constituents raised the funds and booked the Jim Porter Recreation Center in Vista for an “Emergency Town Hall on Health Care” Tuesday night.

Issa didn’t show.

But earlier that day, Issa released his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The draft is called “The Access to Insurance for All Americans Act," and its main feature is to give all Americans access to the same benefit plans used by federal employees.

Dueling groups of supporters and critics appeared the same day at Issa's Vista office, and he spoke with them for more than an hour. In addition to the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, he answered other questions on immigration, Planned Parenthood and President Trump’s ties to Russia.

Related: KPBS: Vista Town Hall On Health Care Proceeds Without Congressman Issa

SDUSD does the budget math

The San Diego Unified School District is making plans to cut some $124 million from its 2018 budget.

The district says its cuts will not impact class size or instruction time.

The plans:

–offering 1,500 teachers early retirement

–reducing the work year by two weeks

–elimination of 833 positions in facilities, special education, physical education, mental health, Head Start, libraries, campus police, substitute teachers, and department heads in the central office.

Layoffs must be negotiated with teacher and staff unions.

The district’s financial outlook could improve if Gov. Brown’s May budget revise contains more funds for schools. Or it could get worse if the Trump administration shifts funding priorities away from education.

SDUSD’s enrollment has been declining, which means less state funds, and its pension costs are rising. The district predicts a $52.5 million shortfall in 2018, even with the cuts.

Related: KPBS: San Diego Unified Proposal Would Eliminate Hundreds of Positions, Reduce Work Year To Balance Budget

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