Skip to main content

Roundtable: Arrests For Feeding Homeless, Detention Center Expansion, Tijuana’s Soaring Homicide Rate

Roundtable: Homeless Food Arrests, Detention Center Expansion, Tijuana’s Soaring Homicide Rate

PANEL:

Sandra Dibble, reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Maya Srikrishnan, reporter, Voice of San Diego

Claire Trageser, reporter, KPBS News

Lyndsay Winkley, reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Transcript

Homeless Feeding Arrests In El Cajon

The Story

Police in El Cajon arrested a dozen people who were feeding homeless individuals at Wells Park. The city recently passed a temporary emergency ordinance banning organized food distributions to homeless people at parks, citing a public health risk from the hepatitis A outbreak. Homeless advocates and some of those who were arrested claim the new ordinance is unconstitutional and plan to fight the issue in court. The incident spotlights a larger schism between local communities trying to deal with San Diego County’s growing homeless problem and churches that believe serving the homeless is a large part of their faith.

The Discussion

Why did police decide to take action against the group in Wells Park?

What’s next for El Cajon’s ban on feeding the homeless on city owned property?

How is San Diego’s religious community balancing the call for service with a responsibility to public health?

RELATED: Churches Say Hepatitis A Outbreak Adds Fuel To Opposition Against Meals For Homeless

Immigration Detention Center Expansion

The Story

The Otay Mesa Detention Center houses a mix of immigrant detainees ranging from asylum seekers to convicted criminals. After just three years in business, the facility is near capacity and poised for an expansion. Voice of San Diego’s Maya Srikrishnan reported on the foresight of CoreCivic, the detention center’s parent company, to buy a big chunk of land years ahead of a state law that restricted the expansion of for-profit detention centers.

The Discussion

What is the makeup of the detention center population and how are non-criminals treated?

What are the plans for the facility’s expansion?

How is the number of overall detainees increasing under President Trump’s policies?

RELATED: Pregnant Immigrant Reunited With Daughters After Otay Mesa Detention

Tijuana’s Soaring Homicide Rate

The Story

The homicide tally in Mexico saw a huge spike in 2017 and was especially pronounced in Tijuana, where 1,744 people were killed. That figure is nearly double the 2016 total, which was also a record-breaker. Most of the deaths involve people caught in turf wars between rival drug trafficking groups.

The Discussion

Who are often the victims of this kind of violence?

What sort of impact has the spike in homicides had on Tijuana’s tourism?

What’s being done to address the demand for illegal drugs on both sides of the border?

RELATED: Tijuana Police Chief Links Mexico’s Rising Homicides To US Gun Laws

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.