Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

CBP One app not helping those in need

 May 8, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, May 8th.

The C-B-P One app isn’t helping asylum seekers who need it most. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


It's been a long three years… but the World Health Organization has declared an end to the global COVID public health emergency … and the U-S government is set to follow suit on Thursday.

That means the sunsetting of some health coverage and cost savings, put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health insurance expert Louise Norris says, they include some aspects of telehealth.

“This is really a situation where if you're on Medicare and you've been using these telehealth flexibilities, you're going to want to talk to your doctor and see what changes are happening.”

Medi-Cal clients will also need to renew their healthcare coverage, and people will need to seek COVID vaccines and P-C-R tests within their own healthcare network.


A new COVID relief program is now available for low-income families and seniors in the county.

The RAFT program offers one-time relief payments of four-thousand-dollars.

To be eligible, people and families must earn less than 200-percent of the

federal poverty level.

That ranges from about 29-thousand-dollars a year for a single person, to 60-thousand-dollars a year for a family of four.

More than 2-thousand families or people will be selected randomly from the applicants.

The application will be open through Sunday May 21st, at midnight.

You can visit the Jewish Family Service website to apply.


The county last week released a more than eight-billion-dollar proposed

budget that includes spending to address homelessness, mental health and improving the justice system.

The 20-24 budget is more than 745 million dollars larger than last year's budget.

More information on the proposed budget can be found on the county’s website.

There, they also have ways you can give your feedback on the budget in person or online.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


C-B-P-One is an app that is supposed to help asylum seekers enter the U-S.

With more migrants entering the country, this app could play an even bigger role at the border.

But border reporter Gustavo Solis says the app isn’t helping those who need it most.

Every morning, hundreds of people living in Tijuana’s Agape Migrant Shelter stare anxiously into their phones. They are logging into a mobile phone app that schedules appointments for asylum seekers hoping to enter the U.S. Vidal Garcia, asylum seeker “Me ha tocado ver personas gritar de alegria, otros llorar tambien de felicidad. Porque por fin estan logrando lo que necesitan.” I’ve seen people scream and others cry because of how happy they are. Because they finally got what they need. Vidal Garcia is one of them. He says he’s seen people break down in tears of joy after finally getting one of the coveted appointments. Since January, about 15,000 migrants in Tijuana have secured appointments through the CBPOne mobile app. But most of those appointments haven’t gone to migrants like Garcia. Almost half of them have gone to Russian nationals. Even though they make up less than 10% of Tijuana’s migrant population. That’s according to numbers from the Mexican government. This is a huge racial and economic disparity, says Enrique Lucero. He’s head of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Department. Enrique Luecro, director Migrant Affairs “No hay un filtro para determiner quen es mas vulnerable del otro. Eso a sido yo creo la major falta de la applicaccion.” There is no filter to determine who is more vulnerable. That is, I think, one major flaw of the application. Lucero says CBPONE doesn’t give preference to more vulnerable migrants. In fact, it rewards migrants with newer smartphones and more powerful wifi connections. That means it rewards the Russian war refugees. The majority of them can afford airfare to Mexico. They tend to stay in hotels with powerful wifi signals. Meanwhile, Central American migrants walk to Tijuana, sleep in overcrowded migrant shelters and struggle to use the app on their outdated phones. “Tienen major telefono, un iphone o un Samsung. Tienen major conectividad. Porque no es lo mismo tener mil personas en un albergue conectados a la misma vez que estar en tu hotel 4 personas. La connectividad es un factor importante.” They have better phones - an iPhone or Samsung. They have stronger connection. Because having a thousand people in a shelter connecting at the same time is not the same thing as having four people in a hotel room. Lucero says CBPONE doesn’t distinguish a Russian migrant from a Central American one. That leaves migrants like Garcia on the outside looking in. He’s been living in the migrant shelter for a month with his two siblings, their partners and four nephews. He’s not resentful of the Russian war refugees. Most migrants feel solidarity with all asylum seekers. But he doesn’t think it’s fair that CBPOne picks one group over another. “When I see people crying or jumping because they are happy. I feel the same emotion because I am happy about them because I wish them the best. ..But then I get in the office and start to cry. Sometimes but not all the time.” Pastor Albert Rivera runs the Agape Migrant Shelter. He sees the migrants desperately logging onto their phones. And he says this happens all along the border. Every morning,  tens of thousands of people all try to log into CBPOne at once.… Pastor Albert Rivera, Agape Migrant Shelter “You have about 50,000 immigrants all at the same time trying to enter in one place. So it gets over jammed. And there’s not too many of them that get an appointment.” Rivera recently invested in a stronger wifi connection. But says it’s still not enough. He’s not an open borders guy. Rivera knows the United States cannot let everybody into the country without vetting them. He calls it a balancing act between security and humanitarianism. “We cannot say OK we’re just interest in security and forget about human rights and we cannot say we are only interested in human rights but are forgetting about security. And that’s the problem that all the politicians have.” But to the migrants waiting for appointments in Tijuana, the entire system seems really off-balance. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.

TAG: After an inquiry from KPBS, C-B-P announced changes to the app on Friday.

The agency will expand the number of appointments, and prioritize people who have been waiting the longest.

These changes will start this week.


Parents nationwide are struggling to find affordable child care… and child care facilities are struggling to keep staff on board in order to stay open.

Reporter Tania Thorne tells us about a movement taking place today, that highlights this crisis.

Groups of childcare providers and parents have declared May 8th as a nationwide Day without Child Care. Across the country, demonstrations will take place highlighting the need for affordable childcare. And better pay for child care staff. In San Diego, the Childcare Providers Union will be  spotlighting parents and providers' experiences with the child care system.  Here's Kim McDougal, the vice president of social services for the YMCA of San Diego. Staffing is really the main barrier to being able to kind of meet the demand where it is. On top of that, those that are looking for child care then, have to figure out how to dedicate 30% of their salary to child care, and most of us, don't, have the luxury of being able to do that. Child care providers are struggling with staffing shortages and keeping up with the demand in care. TT KPBS News. 


Coming up.... A canceled drag show is back on. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.


Some San Diego elementary school students spent part of their weekend playing music…designed by professionals at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall.

Education reporter M.G. Perez has more on the local connection to world class learning.

SOUND UP FULL violins playing 5 and 6 year old students learning how to play the violin. It’s a weekly class offered by Villa Musica, a local non profit organization that makes music accessible through education, lessons and outreach to families who might not be able to afford it. Adriana Verduzco loves the change its created in her young daughter’s spirit. “that’s the most important thing…that she loves …that she enjoys and I’m proud of who she’s going to become in years if she keeps playing this instrument.” Saturday, Villa Musica students from schools in Linda Vista and Kearny Mesa performed with the La Jolla Symphony…it’s a collaboration created by the education department of New York’s Carnegie Hall. The world famous concert venue provides the curriculum and resources for students to perform with professionals. Fiona Chatwin is the founder and Executive Director of Villa Musica. when you say this is a Carnegie Hall initiative…it’s truly something that’s been well devised and obviously they have the reputation to disseminate this information around the world.”  Villa Musica has 5 community music centers around San Diego County…offering free lessons to children of all ages. MGP KPBS News.


A canceled drag show in North County is now back on the schedule.

North County reporter Alexander Nguyen spoke with organizers about the event.

After the disney-themed show at the belly up tavern was canceled in march because of an online threat …organizers say they immediately planned to reschedule the show. Rozanne deatherage is the director of pride by the beach for the north county lgbtq resource center. She says the threat wasn’t against the show or any of the performers. It was made against someone attending the show. roxanne deatherage director, pride by the beach“It was an unfortunate set of circumstances. it wasn't about just the drag queens. we are very thankful that our north county community is very welcoming.” The drag show is a fundraiser for the pride festival in june. It is now scheduled for May 23rd. The belly up says it expects between 400 to 500 people at the event. tickets are still available. an/kpbs.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Tomorrow we will bring you the local news of the day, plus, our KPBS metro reporter joins me to talk about his new podcast. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Monday.

Ways To Subscribe
The CBP One app is supposed to help asylum seekers enter the U.S., but some are saying the app isn’t helping those who need it most. In other news, an event to highlight the childcare crisis is taking place today. Plus, a canceled drag show in North County is now back on the schedule.