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Border & Immigration

Roundtable Analyzes Obama's Plan, Wastewater Recycling and The Millions Given To City Heights

Roundtable Analyzes Obama's Plan, Wastewater Recycling and The Millions Given To City Heights
Obama's Immigration Action, Wastewater Recycling, City Heights PhilanthropyHOST:Mark SauerGUESTS:Jill Replogle, KPBS News Erik Anderson, KPBS News Megan Burks, KPBS News

Immigration Action

President Obama made an end-run around Congress on Friday and announced steps he would take using executive action to shield some five million immigrants from deportation.

The chief beneficiaries of the President's plan are people who have been in the U.S. for more than five years, mostly parents or young people. More than half of the nation's approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants would remain unaffected.


Republicans, who will control both houses of Congress in January, are generally livid, with some conservatives even threatening impeachment or a government shutdown if the President puts his plan into action. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said on the PBS NewsHour last night that the U.S. Justice Department issued a document saying the President's actions were illegal.

Wastewater Recycling Deal

The San Diego City Council this week approved a plan to create a ground-breaking water recycling project — instead of spending $2 billion to upgrade the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant.

Local environmental groups have approved of the plan, which will create 50 million gallons a day of potable water from sewage by 2023 and 83 million by 2035. The plan still needs approval from the California Coastal Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

San Diego’s Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant is the only sewage plant in the U.S. that does not meet clean water standards. It currently receives waivers from the EPA for not meeting two of three federal standards. The city maintains that one of the standards is irrelevant to San Diego’s situation.

City Heights: So Poor, So Rich

Since 2000, Price Philanthropies and the California Endowment have pumped a quarter billion dollars into San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood, a poor area near downtown with a largely immigrant population.


While the foundations don't yet have much hard evidence of improved lives to show for their money, they say they are in it for the long haul and that it will take generations to overcome generations of neglect.

Two decades ago, a large number of the area’s single-family homes were bulldozed when the I-15 split the community in half. The remaining streets were then crammed with shabby apartment buildings. There was no room for parks. Crime was everywhere.

The city declared a state of emergency in City Heights, and in the early 1990s, tapped former city manager Jack McGrory to oversee the area. His concept, the City Heights Urban Village, began the neighborhood's re-birth, with the invaluable assistance of the late Sol Price, a re-birth which continues to this day.