54 Delta Variant COVID Cases Reported In San Diego County
Speaker 1: 00:00 More contagious variants emerge. And now we're seeing exactly what they described in India. When this variant was first discovered, which is that everybody in the household gets infected. Speaker 2: 00:11 I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS day edition is California's golden image tarnished by Speaker 1: 00:28 Two to one margin, California say that the California dream still works for people like telling their family Speaker 2: 00:34 The painfully long wait. Many asylum seekers have had simply for chance at refuge in the U S plus the say their names Memorial makes its way to San Diego, but that's ahead on midday edition. The news Speaker 3: 01:00 Warnings go out to the unvaccinated about the Delta variant and a study finds. California is still golden. Speaker 4: 01:07 I'm wearing Kavanaugh with Jade Hyman. This is KPBS midday edition Speaker 3: 01:23 It's Thursday, July 8th, Speaker 2: 01:26 As the pandemic evolves. So does the Corona virus, which underscores the importance of getting vaccinated, listen to this unvaccinated or partially vaccinated San Diego bins account for nearly all COVID deaths, hospitalizations, and cases. Now the mutated and more infectious Delta variant is the main strain infecting people in the U S and right here in California, as other variants, continue to emerge. Joining me to discuss this is Dr. Christian Ramers assistant medical director of family health centers, and an SDSU professor who specializes in infectious diseases. Dr. Speaker 1: 02:02 Ramers welcome. Thank you for having me Jake. So Speaker 2: 02:05 The Delta variant is now the predominant Corona virus strain. That's causing infections in the U S and California. But how about right here in San Diego county? Speaker 1: 02:13 Yeah, so we're always a little bit behind because it takes awhile to sequence, uh, the viruses that people are being infected with. Uh, you are correct that in the U S it's estimated we crossed over 50%. We're at 51.7% Delta variants, and in California, over 35% are Delta variants. Um, we are certainly seeing them in San Diego. Those cases have been reported. I can't really tell you an exact percentage, but in my opinion, the patients that I'm seeing I'm in our monoclonal antibody infusion clinic right now, I'm pretty sure they're all Delta. And that's just because the speed with which Delta has taken over, for example, in the UK and in other places, the slope has been much steeper than in other places. And what we're seeing is a much higher attack rate. This number that are not, which we used to say is about two and a half, which means it means on average, a person with COVID is going to infect two and a half more people. Uh, that is probably up to more like five or six right now with the Delta variant, which means that it's much more infectious. So for example, a household in the very beginning, we would have a 30 to 40% attack rate. So you know, about a third of people in the household would get infected. And now we're seeing exactly what they described in India when this variant was first discovered, which is that everybody in the household gets infected. It's just not even a question anymore. And that's because of the increased infectiousness of Delta. Speaker 2: 03:29 Is there consensus among the scientific community on whether or not the vaccines protect against the Delta variant? Speaker 1: 03:36 Well, consensus is a, is a tough word. Um, what we're seeing are little bits of data coming in from individual studies and that's giving us a range. Uh, there was a study from Israel that showed, uh, that the Pfizer vaccine in particular protected only 64% from infection and 93% from hospitalization. There are other studies that look better than that. So more like 88% protection from infection and 96 from hospitalization. But suffice to say the bottom line is, is that the vaccines are not quite as good against Delta as they were against the initial strains, but still quite good and still pretty protective. Speaker 2: 04:12 San Diego county reports that 140,000 county residents are overdue for their second doses of either Pfizer or Medina. Where does that leave them in terms of protection from COVID and particularly new variants, like the Delta Speaker 1: 04:26 Variant? Yeah, what we know so far is that those people are very, very vulnerable and that's because studies are now coming out, looking at the protection, given by a single dose against a new variant like Delta and the protection is not very good at all. Uh, so you really need that second dose, uh, to solidify the immunity and protect you against the new, more contagious variants and people that have already had COVID really need to be vaccinated because having COVID once certainly does not protect you from these new variants. Speaker 2: 04:54 There have been headlines about those who got the J and J shot getting booster shots of Pfizer or Madrona to protect against that Delta variant. What are your Speaker 1: 05:03 Thoughts on that? Yeah, I think any day now, we're going to have a little more formal recommendation about this. It really does make sense. And in fact, the J and J shot was originally studied as a one dose or a two dose combination. And we're sort of waiting for what it looks like to give that second dose. We are a little uncomfortable making decisions without evidence to support it, but hopefully that evidence is coming very soon about not just that situation, but about boosters in general in the fall. And I will say that the UK has already gone ahead and kind of laid out what the fall might look like with boosters and prioritized older individuals, those that are immune compromised or those that have underlying medical conditions, as well as healthcare workers is the first in line to receive boosters. Speaker 2: 05:44 Mostly on this show, we talked about how it's a race between vaccination levels and new variants. Um, how's that race going in your Speaker 1: 05:51 Opinion? Well, I think we're still neck and neck. Um, I would say that we are, uh, in a different place. We were last year, certainly because we do have fairly good coverage of the population, especially those that are most vulnerable. So I don't think we're going to see surges that overwhelm our hospitals by any means, but where we are now is that those that are unvaccinated, as you mentioned at the top of the story are really vulnerable and they're making up almost all of the cases that we're seeing. Speaker 2: 06:16 So worst case scenario, you know, vaccination levels don't improve. This virus is able to mutate among those who aren't vaccinated. What's the biggest Speaker 1: 06:26 Fear. I think the biggest fear is that the virus continues to mutate and continues to infect enough people, to be able to mutate and then is able to get around our vaccines. That's what I think we're all afraid of that has not happened thus far. Our vaccines are still very, very good. I'd say they went from being outstanding to being very, very good, uh, dropped from that 95%, maybe down to 80 or so, but the real concern is that the virus is going to continue to be around and it's going to continue to circulate and unvaccinated people evolve even further, pick up a few more mutations and be able to get around the vaccines. And that has not happened yet. Speaker 2: 07:01 A study published today in nature, says the Delta variant bypasses the immune system and unvaccinated people. Can you explain to us how that Speaker 1: 07:10 Works? Yeah. Well, I mean, these are, these are all just, uh, an accumulation of mutations that allow the surface of the virus to just sort of look different. Um, and I think what that study was referring to is two examples. Those that have had COVID before and then those that have just had one, a vaccine dose. And in both those situations that Delta Barrett can quite easily get around the immune response. So you really need in people that are infected to get vaccinated as well, to get those really high levels of protection that seemed to stand up against Delta. And in those that I've had a single dose, they really need that second dose of vaccine again, to get those high levels of protection, to keep the Delta variant from infecting them. All right, Speaker 2: 07:49 I've been speaking to family health center, assistant medical director, Dr. Christian Ramers, who is also a SDSU professor who specializes in infectious diseases. Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Ramers. Thank you for having me Speaker 3: 08:06 California lost enough population in 2020 to cut one congressional seat from our Washington delegation and some recent headlines make it seem like high profile businesses are streaming out of the state. We even lost Elan Musk to Texas, but a new study shows that most of California's population still thinks of the state as golden and heading toward a better future. That hope seems centered in California's youngest and fastest growing demographics. Some older wealthier Californians still have their doubts. Joining me is Thad cows, UC San Diego, political science professor, and co author of the study and fed welcome back. Thanks for having me. So what did all the publicity about California losing population that prompted this study? Speaker 1: 08:54 We'd all of this narrative over the course of the winter, right? Elon Musk is going to Texas a Tesla moving, uh, different businesses leaving. And so we'd seen story after story with anecdotes of people leaving. And then we saw that dip in, in the pandemic. It was really related to fewer people moving into the state from other countries, a lower birth rate, and unfortunately, a higher death rate, but it created this narrative of a California Exodus. And so what we did in the, in this study that I co-authored with Cassidy, Reller at UCF and in a series of studies done by people at Berkeley and people at UCLA, we use an array of different data sources to try and figure out what's going to come next, right. Is there a real Exodus as, as the state comes out of, of the pandemic in and people can move, are we going to see people leaving the state and what we found surprisingly, but, but fitting with a lot of data from other sources is that there doesn't seem to be signs of a looming Exodus. There's no change in the percentage of Californians from, from a Berkeley poll two years ago, who say, they're thinking about leaving the state we haven't seen from credit card records, more people moving out of the state and the state's still attracting the line, share of venture capital, uh, across the country. And by two to one margin, California say that the California dream still works for people like them and their family. Give us an Speaker 3: 10:11 Idea of the questions you asked on the survey. Speaker 1: 10:14 We asked a series of questions about what people thought about the state today. Does the dream work for you two to one margin in favor of it, about where the, where it's headed tomorrow, right? And how it compares to other states. So, so we found that most Californians think the state will be a better place for when the children today grow up. But there are groups that are, that are quite pessimistic about that. So for instance, older, California is much more pessimistic about the future of the state. If you look by demographics, you do see some, some real fundamental differences. And then we asked where people are headed in the future. Where do they plan to move this year in the next five years? Do they plan to retire? Do they think things will be better along a number of different dimensions in other states? And then finally that question of are they considering a move? Speaker 3: 10:55 So an idea about how that breaks down demographically by ethnicity, race, age, income, and actually even location in Speaker 1: 11:03 This state. So one of the patterns we found was that there's certain parts of the state and certain parts of the economic distribution, that there really are suffering that are, that are least optimistic about the future of the state. And, and most likely to say they may move. So if you look at the regions of the state, the parts of the state that have really been bypassed by California's, uh, you know, economic expansion that the central valley parts of the Northern California outside the bay area there, you see as many as 37% of people saying they're contemplating a move. Whereas in San Diego and orange county, only 17% were some of the happiest people with California, uh, in, in this state, if you look at across age, the older California is much more likely to be pessimistic about its future. Young California is very hopeful about the state where it's going, what their role in it is, but older, uh, California is actually less likely to move in part. And we think this, our hunches, that this is because they're very high home ownership rates. And then finally the groups that arise in California's population, Spanish speakers, other Latino Californians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans generally fairly optimistic about the statement's direction. White California's less optimistic about the California dream, whether it still works for them and whether the state will be better in the future. And what's Speaker 3: 12:12 Your take on why younger nonwhite Californians would have a healthy optimism about California's future? Speaker 1: 12:18 Well, I think one of the things that I see, and this is speaking beyond the data, but just being on a university campus, right? Young people are always fairly optimistic about the future and their opportunities to grow. I think they're also starting from a, from a lower baseline and starting from lower incomes and expecting to see their incomes rise as, as they move into the workforce, as they progress in their careers, as they're able to try to buy a home. And the question is whether the policies passed over the next 5, 10, 20 years will, will actually help them fulfill those dreams they have or, or whether they'll get stuck. One group, speaking of getting stuck that, that we see is, is people in the middle income ranges between 50 and a hundred thousand are really the least optimistic about the state and our hunts there in this fits with data that we've seen in many of these other studies. There's, that's really where people struggling to buy a home people who can buy a house in many other states, but, but really struggle for home ownership in places like San Diego LA the bay area. And I think that is a policy worth addressing, is there Speaker 3: 13:17 A political divide between Democrats and Republicans in their views of California and its future? Speaker 1: 13:23 It's always a political divide in America, but one of the shocking things about this poll is we actually saw that compared to 2019 poll done by UC Berkeley on this question of, do you want to move where we saw a huge political divide where Republicans were twice, as likely as Democrats to say they wanted to move that now has narrowed right to only about a 10 percentage point gap. Uh, it's one of the few things I've ever seen narrow in a partisan gap, like in the time that I've been studying politics, but if you look at people's views about the state and its future, there are some really strong partisan gaps that emerge Republicans don't feel like they're part of the direction of the state in many ways. And that that fits with what we've seen in other polls in it. And it really fits with the story that's led to this recall election that we'll be seeing in a few months. Speaker 3: 14:05 So overall, this study is good news for California, but in looking at it, do you see areas of concern for the state, from the results of this study? Speaker 1: 14:14 And I think the study shows that in the near term, we're not going to see a flood out of California of its population. But I think that the study really highlights that there are certain regions of the state, certain parts of the socioeconomic ladder and certain groups in California that really are suffering. That don't feel like they're part of the state. And, you know, this has given rise to remember that six state movement a few years ago, to split the state up. We seen succession movements in the far Northern California. I think these are all symptoms of some concerns that the California is, is moving too much in one direction. And that there's some people in California who don't have access to that dream of being able afford housing, being able to get to their job without a massive commute. And those are the policies worth addressing, and to have the California dream work for everyone Speaker 3: 15:00 With UC San Diego, political science professor Thad Couser that thank you very much. Speaker 1: 15:05 Thanks for having me, Maureen. This Speaker 3: 15:07 Is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann increasing numbers of asylum seekers are being allowed to enter the United States, but what the asylum system still severely curtailed thousands remain stuck in dangerous conditions in Tijuana KPBS, reporter max revel and Adler has been following the story for months. And his reporting is featured in a new KPBS investigates and port of entry special podcast called here we are. It follows the painfully long wait. Many asylum seekers have had simply for a chance at refuge in the U S and it outlines America's critically damaged asylum system at the U S Mexico border. Joining me is KPBS reporter of max Rivlin, Nadler, and max, welcome. Good to be here. You've been to the makeshift camp set up by asylum seekers, just across the border in Tijuana, many times. Can you give us a snapshot of what it's like? Speaker 5: 16:04 It's increasingly crowded. It's really hot right now, especially as we head deeper into the summer months, uh, it has a certain smell to it, just of cramped people in spaces and dirty clothes. Um, people are having to right now pay to use the bathrooms that's been set up by the Tiguan government. People are just charging them for that, but even with all those difficulties, life goes on, uh, people play cards or dominoes, kids, skateboard people form crowds around anyone that's giving out food. So it's, it's a really desperate situation in terms of how many people are in such a small amount of space. And it grows every, every day that I've been there. Speaker 3: 16:44 Now, the asylum system has been breaking down in recent years, but is it the pandemic that's led to thousands of asylum seekers living in limbo at the border? Speaker 5: 16:54 The asylum system, like you said, has been limited for a long time before the pandemic. There was this thing called remain in Mexico that was sending asylum seekers back into Mexico to wait for a court date in the U S since the pandemic has happened, there's been a, this thing called title 42, which is based off of a CDC code that basically says as a disease prevention measure, the us government is allowed to turn back all asylum seekers and basically opt out of its asylum obligations. So you already had a lot of people waiting in Mexico for their date in court, in the U S before the pandemic. But then even after that, once the pandemic took hold, you add to the fact that people were not even being processed. And during the pandemic, people still made the journey. People still made the trip as conditions continue to deteriorate across the world. And especially in places like central America. Speaker 3: 17:49 Now what's caused the process though, to slowly open up again, allowing some asylum seekers into the U S Speaker 5: 17:55 These are the actions of the Biden administration. When they took over, uh, the presidency, they basically inherited title 42. Um, and the remain in Mexico program, which had been paused, what they decided to do was to restart the remain of Mexico program. Not by again, having people come into the U S for their court dates and go back out into Mexico, but instead to bring those people into the U S so they've been doing that for thousands of people in a kind of a slower process over the last few months, then separately, the American civil liberties union had sued over the use of title 42, saying that it violated America's international asylum obligations courts have mostly sided with them. So the Biden administration kind of hesitant to get rid of title 42, for whatever reason, they say there's still a health considerations involved has been reaching compromises with the ACLU to allow some people to enter the U S especially vulnerable people, which they consider to be pregnant women, people with diseases, young children, um, and other people who might find themselves at risk while waiting in Mexico. Speaker 3: 18:59 So is that sort of opening up, has that changed the atmosphere within the camp in Tijuana? Speaker 5: 19:04 I would agree, but the sheer fact of the matter is more and more people keep arriving each day. And they know that if they are in this camp, they might get some legal assistance or some people would look out for them. Under this agreement. These advocates would find the most vulnerable among them to get them into the U S so they've been coming to this camp. That's how limited resources are for migrants in Mexico right now is that they'd rather live in this very difficult place, this migrant camp than stay where they're at, or go to a shelter because they know this is a place where they're visible and they might find legal assistance Speaker 3: 19:41 In the podcast. We meet several asylum seekers and hear their individual stories, as well as some of the aid workers and attorneys working to help them. How do you think these voices help tell this complicated story? Speaker 5: 19:55 Yeah, I think when it comes to the border and especially the issue of migration, honestly, the loudest voices are quite often those who don't really have any bearing or, or, you know, experience of what's happening at the border itself. So by highlighting these voices and letting people who are, you know, by sheer fact that they're migrating transient, you know, it's tough to go back to the camp week after week and find the same people because often they leave, they either cross the border outside of a port of entry, or they go back to their home country, or there's something else happens to them. People have been kidnapped, people have been killed. So it's really important to get these snapshots of people in this camp in this moment, because it not only humanizes it, but it kind of raises the importance of actually talking to people on the ground, as opposed to possibly grandstanding about a situation that you don't have any direct experience of. Speaker 3: 20:49 Thanks so much for speaking with us, max, thank you. And here is KPBS reporter, max Rivlin, nether presenting the KPBS investigates and port of entry special podcast called here we are Speaker 5: 21:03 Right now, over 15,000 people, men, women, and children are waiting to enter the United States along the entire Southwest border. Over 10,000 of those people are in Tijuana. That's according to the university of Texas and even they had met. That's a low estimate reserve Speaker 6: 21:22 Protected the constitution of the United States constitution of the United States. So help you God. So help me, God, congratulations. Speaker 7: 21:33 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 21:33 Soon after taking office, the Biden administration announced they would allow some asylum seekers to enter the United States, but only those who had been enrolled in the remain in Mexico program. That's a program that was started by the Trump administration more than two years ago. Speaker 7: 21:57 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 21:58 First day at all, chopper all back in February, when they started letting some asylum seekers into the United States, a lot of people were clustered around the gate that leads you into the country. They were gathering right across the border in Tijuana. In fact, in the very Plaza that border crossers step into when they walk into Mexico from the us, one of those people who showed up was Marjorie [inaudible] she's from Honduras Speaker 7: 22:26 Mean number is [inaudible]. Speaker 5: 22:30 And her daughter had been living in Tijuana for over a year. They'd been fleeing violence in their home country, and they were selling ice cream on the street and going from shelter to shelter. On that first day, she pitched a tent right outside the port of entry, like right, where you would need to be to enter the United States. If the border was to open, she told me she wouldn't leave until she could apply for asylum. Speaker 7: 23:00 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 23:01 Marjorie told me that it's been tough the first few weeks at the camp. It rained then because of the rain, her clothes were wet and the tents were freezing in the morning. And at night Speaker 7: 23:35 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 23:35 First few months of the Biden administration, the migrant camp became the symbol of the broken asylum. At the same time, a huge uptick in the numbers of unaccompanied children crossing the border gave rise to the idea that there was a search for a crisis. President Speaker 8: 23:53 Joe Biden is facing a growing crisis at the U S Mexico border new steps to address the growing crisis at the U S Mexico border. Fox news is on the ground inside the border city of Del Rio, Texas. This is a mid, the escalating crisis at our Southern, Speaker 5: 24:06 But in reality, the so-called new crisis when some critics said was created by Biden's border policies had begun many months before Biden took office. So many of these asylum seekers had already been in Tijuana, just waiting for their chance to cross Speaker 7: 24:30 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 24:31 Asylum seekers like Braden Lena's also from Honduras. He'd have been in Tijuana for a year already. The day I met him in March, he was walking around the camp with his young son, strapped to his chest Speaker 6: 24:49 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 24:49 He was holding the Biden 2020 flag that someone had given him in an interview. I did with him later. He told me the flag gave him hope Speaker 6: 25:01 [inaudible], Speaker 5: 25:06 But a picture of Braden waving that flag ended up at the top of conservative websites and on front pages of news articles saying somehow that it was Biden's fault that all of these people ended up here in Tijuana, even though they'd been here for a year and in many cases, way longer, the photo of Braden, Latinas, and other people holding up Biden 2020 flags, that became a flashpoint for those critics who were saying the Biden administration was opening the border and creating incentives for migrants to try to cross and take advantage of less restrictive border policies. So there's another Speaker 9: 25:41 Number of initiatives and policies are underway to undo a lot of the progress that has been made over the last four years, Speaker 5: 25:48 But that wasn't really happening. The pandemic border shutdown title 42 was still in effect when Biden got elected and is still in effect today. And in the first month of this year, really the only people that were legally allowed to cross the border were those who are enrolled in remain in Mexico. Most asylum seekers like Brayden were totally out of luck until that more recent deal I told you about between the American civil liberties union and the Biden administration in April of this year, that ACLU agreement opened the door to dozens of families to enter the country along the Southwest border each day. These were asylum seekers who actually were not part of remain in Mexico, but had been in Mexico for months and even years. So under this agreement, deciding which names get sent to the government, picking the people who get to enter the United States, that's now up to service providers on the ground in Tijuana and qualifying for entry. Isn't based on your asylum claim from your home country, the country you're fleeing. Instead, it's based on how much danger you face in Mexico itself. This isn't how the asylum system is supposed to work. [inaudible], Speaker 6: 27:21 You know, you can imagine, uh, how many, uh, petitions, how many parole requests, um, you know, are being handled at this time, just at this port of entry alone, bird Vivar Speaker 5: 27:32 Is swarmed as he tries to make it through the crowded encampment in Tijuana, he's looking for a specific person, someone whose case that he's worked on Robert, who was deported himself, has an office with us, deported veterans, just down the block from the migraine camp, dozens of desperate people vying for his attention, asking him when they'll get a call from overworked, immigration lawyers. Speaker 6: 27:58 It's pretty difficult to tell people to have patients when they're running away because of persecution. You know, it's not safe Speaker 5: 28:08 Parents and the camp tell him that their child is sick or that their family is in danger. But Robert already knows they're in danger. It's just impossible for him to help everyone. But that doesn't stop him from trying. You've been Speaker 6: 28:22 Here. You know, they, uh, they've had threats, you know, that they be followed and it just it's, it's a difficult situation for them. And you can understand why they would be so desperate Speaker 5: 28:33 Roberts, right? The camp, isn't all that safe. There've been robberies threats, and it's the target of organized crime people looking to extort the asylum seekers. It's not safe for the people who call the camp home. It's not safe for the service providers. And it's often not safe for reporters. Either different groups have pulled out from the camp in recent weeks, citing safety concerns. Speaker 6: 28:59 There are some groups or gangs or whatever who operate in this area who are able to find a way to monetize and make it appear that they are part of our group. Speaker 5: 29:11 Ian Sorello is an immigration lawyer. He's part of a group of non-profits known as the chocolatier isle Alliance. It includes the American friends service committee and border angels and people like Robert who's volunteering his time. That group is still working in the camp. They're the ones making contact with people in the camp and getting their names to the ACLU in turn the ECLU then takes those names and hands them off to the U S government. The focus has been to first locate pregnant women, people with pressing medical needs and those in immediate danger in Mexico, their names go right to the top. This all makes the list of who's in danger, really arbitrary. Speaker 6: 29:52 Um, we do physio, the physio [inaudible] Speaker 5: 30:01 That's Rafa, and Terryana, he's one of a number of people in camp who identify as LGBT under normal times. He could have a really strong asylum case in the U S if he were allowed to enter the country to make his case, he says he fled Honduras. After his house was burned down, he was beaten and his friends were killed. He's also been living in Tijuana for more than a year waiting to enter the United States. But under the current arrangement, he's not being prioritized. Speaker 6: 30:41 [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] Rafa Speaker 5: 31:06 Says it's been hard because the volunteer lawyers coming to the camp, they're looking for those pregnant women. There's people with terminal illnesses. There's people who desperately need to leave. So even though he's a member of a really at risk community, he can't find representation Speaker 6: 31:23 [inaudible] so Speaker 5: 31:24 He's just stuck waiting in the camp. [inaudible] Speaker 6: 31:32 [inaudible] Domingo, Speaker 7: 31:45 Domingo [inaudible]. Speaker 5: 31:49 So that's how we ended up here every morning and afternoon at the port of entry in Tijuana, customs and border protection agents call out names of people who are going to be allowed into the Speaker 7: 32:00 Kelly Julissa, Kelly Julissa, Speaker 5: 32:04 And some surprising names have started appearing [inaudible] Speaker 5: 32:10 Because in addition to those vulnerable groups that are now being allowed in some people with multiple deportations are also being allowed back into the unit. Yeah. Molly Malina see under normal asylum circumstances. One deportation means you have to wait years and years for a chance to reenter the us. But because some of these deportees say they're unsafe in Mexico, they're being allowed back in. So yeah, this change. It's a big one. And because this is happening with people who've been deported, being allowed to cross right now, it means the U S government is formally acknowledging for the first time ever that deporting people back to Mexico puts them in immediate danger. Speaker 4: 33:04 And while they were waiting in Mexico, they became victims of extortion, kidnapping, rapes, horrible circumstances, uh, violent situations. And there were so desperate for that for someone to listen to them. Speaker 5: 33:19 Dulce Garcia is the executive director of border angels. She spent three weeks working as part of the Chapo trial Alliance in the encampment, finding the people who can get to safety. Now people like her own brother who was deported to Tijuana last year after his DACA protections, lapsed, he was kidnapped in Mexico and he was beaten and robbed. And now thanks to the piecemeal changes to the silent system. Dulce is helping her brother and other people like him. Who've been deported and then found themselves in dangered in Mexico. She's helping them find this path back to safety in the U S Speaker 4: 33:56 So it, it all happened really quickly. We went from having absolutely no way to cross someone lawfully across the U S to having this mechanism that allows them to enter. Even if it is just a few people a day, that brought hope. And that's what the people in the encampment needed hope and information. Speaker 5: 34:22 So yeah, this little loophole, it is helping people who need it. It's finally providing some relief for migrants. Who've been dealing with months and months of misery, but Duelce says that this new makeshift asylum arrangement, isn't the be all end all, because it isn't helping enough people. Speaker 4: 34:41 People now saying the tent next to me is leaving because they're crossing to the U S finally. And that brought hope to people in the encampment, which also made people a lot more desperate for them to hear their, their cases. First Speaker 5: 34:53 Joel say says she hopes that the system that's only helping a small percentage of asylum seekers won't last too much, longer, four, Speaker 4: 35:00 Very desperate to cross because they have endured so much while they've been waiting for the doors to open. We know that everyone in the encampment is at a high risk. Everyone there is vulnerable. Speaker 7: 35:11 Okay. Thank you so much. Yeah. I'm glad you caught the nuances of that one. Speaker 5: 35:16 So pressure is growing on the Biden administration to restore more of the asylum system along the border. Something that may happen as soon as mid July Speaker 7: 35:32 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 35:32 And while some people in the migrant camp in Tijuana might be lucky enough to leave their tents behind others are all too ready to take their spot to continue serving as this visual reminder, that pressure along the border continues to build. And sometimes that pressure bubbles over in the form of protests like this one in April asylum seekers shut down traffic lanes at the port of entry for hours. Part of a series of protests meant to draw attention to their situation. Speaker 7: 36:08 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 36:09 Sometimes blocking cross border traffic on a weekly basis. Speaker 7: 36:20 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 36:23 That was KPBS reporter max Revlon Nadler, with a special edition of the KPBS investigates and port of entry podcasts called here. We are to listen to the rest of the podcast, go to kpbs.org or wherever you listen to podcasts. You're Speaker 2: 36:40 Listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh say their names is a new Memorial exhibit coming to San Diego honoring black lives lost to police brutality and systemic racism. The Memorial is part of a nationwide grass roots initiative spurred by the protest of 2020 to put names and faces to the more than 200 black lives lost due to racism. IAT Finney is the executive director of the San Diego African-American museum of fine art. They are responsible for bringing the installation here to San Diego and gaiety joins us now. Gaiety. Speaker 1: 37:16 Welcome. Thank you. Welcome to T thank you for having me, Speaker 2: 37:21 You know, what will people see when they look at this exhibit? Speaker 1: 37:26 Well, um, it's been a labor of love because I first saw this exhibit out of Dallas when they put it there. And at that time they were 212 people that they were honoring with these pedestals. We hope that people will see something very moving, um, Memorial, if you will, of those people that died and contemplate would also be a teaching moment. Speaker 2: 37:52 Um, can you talk about why it's important to memorialize these victims to actually see their faces and say their names? Speaker 1: 38:00 Yeah, we got a reason in my opinion, why don't we say, say the names because they can not be in black, should not be a reason to die. I understand it, shouldn't it be a reason to be killed? And so all of us, as we watch those few seconds drain out of George Floyd's life, we all felt it because we carry this deep, deep inside of those, but we all have these things in ourselves, but these people had paid the ultimate price. Whereas us who still around can say their names. Speaker 2: 38:39 Is there anyone in the exhibits specific to San Diego? Speaker 1: 38:44 Yeah, we have two actually, uh, Alfred Lavango who, uh, was an alcohol and then Demetrius do both and Demetrius do both. It's interesting because there's a documentary being done about him by a gentleman named John curus out of Chicago. And we are flying him in to be our keynote speaker at our ribbon. Cutting. So just those two, mind you there are there more, probably a, we can't say everybody, but that's what we have in the exhibit. Speaker 2: 39:15 You know, what conversations do you hope people have when viewing these photos? Speaker 1: 39:21 Well, I, the conversations I'd like to see people have is to understand why we saved their names and that these people cannot, they paid the ultimate price just by being black. I mean, they're not saying they're stellar individuals, but this is deep inside all of us and that this idea of systemic racism, what it does to your soul and to your mind, you know, you've heard that conversation that mothers have to have with their black sons about dealing with the police. So they want them to make it home. Again, you've heard this many incidents, even in my own life of times where I know of this had to be from systemic basis. So I want people to understand that it's not an abstract thing and that these people who are killed by systemic racism or police brutality shouldn't have been killed, and they can't say their names. And what's a, we must, we want people to understand why we're seeing the names because it could be any one of us. Speaker 2: 40:22 Hm. You know, what, what conversations are you personally having around this movement to honor black Speaker 1: 40:28 Lives lost? Personally? I know in my own experience, how many times that I have had, um, things happen to me with the police that should not have had, I mean, I was in, I was working at an art gallery once in a place like LA Jolla and the police must've followed me because I parked my car and I had a ticket that was delinquent. Well, they came in an art gallery and handcuffed me in the art gallery in front of all the Patriots. I could not believe it. Even the judge when they heard about this dessert, because of how horrible that is, what it does to you. And there's a number of experiences like that, but I've had to leave parties in Rancho Santa Fe, because I didn't want to be there driving while black. So I've told the host, look, I have to go because I'm scared to be out here. And so this is a normal thing. It's not an abstract thing. So I want people personally. I mean, that's how deep it is inside me, but this deep inside all the people that I know, all the black people, so it's not affect. I want people to understand this is, this is real. We need to change, and this can help teach. Speaker 2: 41:36 Do you think this exhibit highlights anything that is often missed when we have these conversations about black lives being taken from, from racial injustice and systemic, right? Speaker 1: 41:47 Yeah, I think it does. I mean, as an it's an art piece though, you know, it's not, it's not like I'm trying to bring the city down or anything like that. I'm trying to bring the community up. And so as an art piece that we and the board here really want it to be a healing process that this heals people that people understand better, that you know, that race is racism is not something you're born with. You can get better from things like this teachable moments that happen that people can learn and discuss and teach their kids. And as we go forward, we are better. People Speaker 2: 42:27 Exhibit also recognizes San Diego's, local civil rights advocates. Tell me about some of the people featured and the impact their work has had on the movement. Speaker 1: 42:38 Uh, pastor Timothy, J winters, Bishop McKinney, um, Archie Moore, uh, Jerry Warren. These are people and there's quite a few more, there are 15 actually that have really contributed to, um, civil rights and making it better for African-Americans in San Diego. And so we want to honor them by having these families of them, um, come and cut the ribbon to open the exhibit up. So there there'll be, all of those families are, will be here, uh, to help start this process. Speaker 2: 43:16 And the people you've mentioned put action to words. And I know the hope is that people will walk away from this exhibit doing more than just having conversations. Right? Speaker 1: 43:25 Correct. I think that they would want to have people come back, bring their families back, read the word. You know, this is only up for 19 days and we do that because it's outdoors. People can come almost at any time, but we have to secure it, of course. Um, and that was very expensive. So it was really hard to find a place that could have us this long. So make sure that they are able to come back before it's over with, we do plan on having a really beautiful performance art closing event on July 25th. And hopefully people will come to it. It's going to be beautiful, very, very touching moment and fun, like a new Orleans type of funeral on the 25th. As we close the exhibit, Speaker 2: 44:08 I've been speaking with gaiety Finney, executive director of the San Diego African-American museum of fine arts Skydio. Thank you so much for joining me. Speaker 1: 44:17 You're very welcome. Thank you. Speaker 2: 44:19 Their names Memorial exhibit open Saturday, July 10th at the new children's museum.