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Pregnant Asylum-Seekers Denied Access To Court Hearings And Other Local News

 February 21, 2020 at 2:46 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, February 21st I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. Pregnant asylum seekers are being denied access to court hearings in San Diego and UC San Diego. Doctor is under investigation over a $10 million gift. Speaker 2: 00:18 I would give that $10 million back tomorrow and say it's not been worth the pain and the suffering Speaker 1: 00:24 that more coming up right after the break. Speaker 3: 00:36 [inaudible] [inaudible] Speaker 1: 00:36 pregnant asylum seekers sent back to Mexico under the remained in Mexico program are being barred from entering the United States for their court dates. KPBS reporter max Revlon Adler tells us what's come of a KPBS investigation. Speaker 4: 00:51 Corina and her husband fled El Salvador early last year after C says gangs tried to kill them. We're using just your first name because she's still concerned for her safety. She was processed at the Santa seizure port of entry in August of last year when she was already three months pregnant. She was sent back to Mexico to wait for her court date in San Diego, but when she arrived at the port of entry for her January appointment, she says customs and border protection agents turned her away. Speaker 5: 01:20 And when we told them our names, the official set at, we couldn't board the buses because I was pregnant. And already eight months along, Speaker 4: 01:28 Carina isn't alone. KPBS has found at least four other pregnant women who were turned away at a port of entry, even though they had been given a court date in the U S some were given new court dates for the month after they would give birth advocates for these pregnant and asylum seekers say that conditions in Mexican hospitals for migrants are dire and unsanitary, and that the U S is delaying their court dates to avoid having the parents give birth to us citizens. The U S government did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Corina with legal assistance from the group, although thorough lotto got into the U S to continue her asylum case. She's due to give birth next week. Max Riverland, Adler, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 02:07 After two weeks of coronavirus quarantine, 63 people said so long to MCA is Miramar. Thursday happily heading home KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman was there Speaker 5: 02:19 around two dozen people poured out of the bus. One step closer to going home. Yeah. One woman holding a baby was overcome with emotion. Speaker 2: 02:31 Okay, thank you. Speaker 5: 02:33 I was heading to Texas. This last group of evacuees seem to be mostly families with young children. Speaker 2: 02:38 Oh, very [inaudible]. Speaker 5: 02:40 That's how Fon would describe his quarantine experience. He spent two weeks on base with his wife and two year old. Now the family is off to San Francisco to stay with relatives. Speaker 2: 02:49 When you get to San Francisco, what's the first thing you're going to do when you get there? Uh, just to have a Chinese traditional dinner. There Speaker 5: 02:58 are two people still in isolation at local hospitals from the base. One person who tested positive for the virus is at UC San Diego medical center and a kid is at Rady children's hospital, Matt Hoffman, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 03:10 The San Diego district attorney's office is launching a new digital outreach campaign to tackle what it says is an opioid epidemic in our community. KPV reporter Prius Schreder has more. Speaker 6: 03:22 The San Diego opioid project will target particularly vulnerable demographics based on research and be featured on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube district attorney summer stuff and says the ads are meant to dispel myths about opioid use and drive people to a website. San Diego opioid where people can find resources for treatment they can. Pain's goal is not just to educate and to build awareness, but to actually change behavior. The six month campaign will also feature five town halls throughout the area. In 2018 210 people in San Diego County died from accidental overdoses caused by prescription opioids. Priya Strither, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 04:09 For years, San Diego's political leaders have sought money to expand the convention center, help the homeless and fix streets. Now a ballot measure promises funding, but as I knew, source investigative reporter Mary Plummer finds many details remain uncertain. Residents of San Diego will decide the fate of measures. See during the March 3rd primary election, if two thirds say yes, the ballot measure will increase the city's tax on hotel stays, that means more revenue for the city. But in I new source review found details that could change what happens to that money over time. For one, the city's debt could increase. Our provision allows for the possibility that a cap on bond sales for the convention center expansion could be lifted. Plus there's a possibility the city council could dip into the general fund if the higher room tax doesn't raise enough money to cover the debt. It's critical for voters to ask hard questions and look deeply at this ballot measure. Speaker 1: 05:05 That's Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, the nonprofit challenge, the ballot summary for measure C in court but is not taking an endorsement position. The ballot measure does allow city council to exercise significant discretion, but proponents say this is a rare chance to use the hotel room tax to raise funds for three important needs that conventions that are expansion, helping the homeless and street repairs. For KPBS I'm I news source investigative reporter Mary Plummer. To learn more about measure C, go to, I knew I knew source is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS black comics day 2020 hero's rise three takes place this weekend at his new location of world beats center in bell ballpark KPBS arts reporter Beth like Amando speaks with event founder and Keithan Jones. Breaking into comics is difficult for anyone but even more challenging if you're a creator of color. That's why Keith and Jones, if kid comics started black comic stay two years ago, Speaker 7: 06:09 mostly this show focuses on the independent creations to stuff you've never seen before. The brand new stuff coming from these creators that feature characters of color because that's really the point of the show and I really just want the community, particularly young folks who see that black Americans are more than what's typically portrayed on popular media. Speaker 1: 06:31 The convention also provides an opportunity for artists to bring their portfolios and get them reviewed. There will be panels to attend as well on Saturday. It's the long road home time travel and race in science fiction, which looks to the late author, Octavia Butler and a pair of graphic novels based on her work. Then on Sunday, it's empowered how indie comic creators build universes and communities featuring for successful indie creators. Speaker 7: 06:57 You get to pick their brain or we're going to pick their brain on how they've been able to succeed in the MD comics market. Speaker 1: 07:04 Black comics day heroes rise three takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the world beats center and admission is free. Beth like Amando KPBS news rewired is a three part series from my new source investigative reporters, Jill Castalano and Brad Racino. Today. In the final part, Brad describes a confidential investigation into a UC San Diego oncologist and his experimental brain treatments. Speaker 8: 07:29 A quick recap. UC San Diego, Dr. Kevin Murphy modified an electromagnetic brain treatment called TMS, former Navy seal. John Surmont had a psychotic break following hundreds of those treatments. I just believed that, Oh, he knows what to do. That's doctor stuff. He knows how to do doctor stuff. Surmont later filed a California medical board complaint against Murphy over the episode. In the final part of this series, we'll break down an ongoing university of California investigation into whether Murphy used a $10 million research gift to enrich his private businesses. The attacks with so many levels here. The story begins where we left off with Murphy using his own version of TMS on patients in San Diego. Speaker 9: 08:11 It turned into a melee patients hearing about it, rumors about how good it was working people in the lobby saying, please treat me. Speaker 8: 08:18 One of his patients philanthropists, Charles Kreutz, camp Murphy treated him to alleviate the mental fog associated with his chemotherapy. When the philanthropists died in 2015 he left $10 million to UCFD. A gift Murphy said was for him to do research on his version of TMS. That money started a storm Speaker 9: 08:40 and it's one of the best things and one of the worst things that's ever happened to me in my entire life. I would give that $10 million back tomorrow and say it's not been worth the pain and the suffering. Speaker 8: 08:51 Murphy claims UCS D's Moore's cancer center tried to take the gift and the doctor had to fight to get it back, angering a lot of people in the process. Then Murphy put together research trials to test his treatment on different conditions like opioid addiction and autism, but they never happened, which is a horrible shit. That's because a whistleblower in Murphy's department alleged the doctor was using crudes. Camp's $10 million gift to hire staff and by hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment to benefit his private TMS businesses. The allegation sparked an ongoing 18 month long investigation that has worked its way up to the UC president's office in Oakland. You see, won't comment at this point, but said it. We'll share the findings and grant an interview once the investigation is complete. Murphy denies all the allegations and believes people are working against him because of his novel treatment. Speaker 9: 09:41 I'm on. I'm on the bleeding edge of this and so everyone's shooting arrows in my back. One, stop him, stop his research. Whistleblower him. We want this so I'm make it look bad. Whatever it takes. Speaker 8: 09:53 Murphy even made enemies with San Diego native David Wells, one of major league baseball's greatest left-hand pitchers. Wells donated $100,000 in 2018 to a nonprofit that dr established to treat veterans but well said. He would not donate to Murphy again because the doctor repeatedly blew him off afterwards. Speaker 10: 10:12 No, and I would, I would not recommend anybody, anybody to do it. Speaker 8: 10:18 As part of our investigation, we also found Murphy plagiarized a competitor's data when he tried to start research at the San Diego VA. Murphy's explanation is at odds with his previous statements and you CSD hasn't commented on the plagiarism. As for John Surmont, the veteran went through two years of court hearings following his arrest in 2017 due to his psychotic episode. Despite it all, he said he still thinks Dr. Murphy is onto something. Speaker 11: 10:44 I still love Kevin Murphy. I still get what he's trying to do. I don't think he's going to be able to get it done if he does it. Recognize the importance of people beyond being research subjects. Speaker 8: 11:01 Murphy, however, doesn't feel the same toward his patient. Speaker 9: 11:04 To just know that you're picking a psychotic for information Speaker 8: 11:07 for KPBS. I'm a new source investigative reporter Brad Racino. Speaker 1: 11:11 For more on this story, go to rewire dot I new I knew source is an independent nonprofit partner of KPBS San Diego superior court judicial candidate. Sean McMillan has sparked controversy with Facebook posts that are racially charged. Others include anti-immigrant themes and comments that mock transgender people. McMillen spoke to KPB as investigative reporter Amica Sharma this week, just before a forum on bias in the judicial system. Speaker 8: 11:43 Well, I thought it was funny. I thought it was interesting. Speaker 1: 11:46 That's self-described civil rights attorney and San Diego judicial candidate. Sean McMillan talking about his sharing of a by the Minutemen Speaker 6: 11:54 militia. It contains photos of Monica Lewinsky, former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and California Senator Kamala Harris. Along with the message when nobody knew who you were until you got on your knees, he says he shares these missives to spark a conversation and he adds, they don't always reflect his views, but what about the meme of Lewinsky? Kaepernick and Senator Harris McMillan references Harris's one-time romance with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. Speaker 2: 12:22 You heard the news and the stories and all this stuff bandied about about her and Willie Brown and all that stuff. Right? But you understand how that might come across as sexist. Um, I totally do. I get it. And had I known that I would do this, I might've been like all the other candidates and kept all my views secret hidden from everybody. So you're all guessing what I really think. Speaker 6: 12:41 But Macmillan says he didn't know he would be running for judge. So he continued to share his views unfiltered, like his reposting of a message by PJ that said quote to reduce gun violence arm. All Americans, Speaker 2: 12:57 I own guns, I absolutely own guns. And if you look at Heller, that's the lead case out of the Supreme court. It is a fundamental individual, right? For sure. Speaker 6: 13:07 On the issue of gender identity, McMillan shared a message showing $2 bills and the script quote, if I had a dollar for every gender there is, I'd have $2 and a bunch of counterfeits. Speaker 2: 13:19 Well, I mean, it's a mechanical issue, right? Realistically, it's a mechanical issue. How many genders are there? Speaker 6: 13:26 McMillan also shared this message, quote, stop all welfare to illegal aliens and they'll deport themselves, but Macmillan says, that doesn't mean he's anti-immigrant. Speaker 2: 13:36 All right. My wife is an immigrant. My sister in laws from Mexico, she's an immigrant and they're all legal immigrants. Speaker 6: 13:44 McMillan also shared a post dating quote. I was asked, are you happy with the racist president? I said, absolutely not. We replaced him with Donald Trump. He says, that post still resonates with him. Speaker 2: 13:57 You know, that's my view. I think that Obama did more things to create division cultural division in our country than he did to heal. Speaker 6: 14:06 When asked whether Trump's references to African nations as shithole countries and his characterization of a 2017 white supremacist rally and counter rally in Charlottesville, Virginia as having very fine people on both sides were healing. McMillan said he was unaware of those comments. Speaker 2: 14:25 I swim in a very small pond and generally speaking, I don't really see what's going on out in the world. Speaker 6: 14:33 The San Diego County bar association has labeled. McMillan is lacking qualifications to be a judge. Kemal Martin political action chair of the San Diego branch of the NAACP agreed. He slammed McMillan's posts, Speaker 2: 14:48 disgusting, absolutely reprehensible and port and Speaker 12: 14:52 we will not allow people like this to fly below the radar and receive the votes of not just people from our community, but anyone's community. Speaker 1: 14:59 But Martin added, he applauded McMillan's candor. I'm ISA Sharma KPBS news McMillan is among 11 judicial candidates running for four open seats on the San Diego superior court bench in the March 3rd primary. That's all for San Diego news matters. If local news matters to you, consider supporting KPBS by going to and clicking on the give now button.

Women who are pregnant are having their asylum hearings in San Diego delayed or canceled, according to KPBS investigation. Plus, a second set of people detained for possible exposure to Covid-19 are released from the Miramar air station. And the San Diego Bar Association tries to educate voters about judge candidates.