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'No fault' eviction moratorium advances

 April 5, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, April 5th.>>>>

What’s next for the no fault eviction moratorium

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

Today is election day for California’s 80th assembly district seat. The district spans southern San Diego, Chula Vista and National city. The race is between Democrats David Alvarez and Georgette Gomez, and Republican Lincoln Pickard. The election is to fill out the remainder of former assembly member Lorena Gonzalez’ term. If no candidate wins a majority of the votes, the two front runners will go to a run-off election in june. Voting centers will be open from 7am to 8pm tonight.


A tentative agreement was reached late yesterday between a grocery store worker union and stores including Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons. The agreement avoids a potential strike, which had been authorized by a union vote last month. The deal now goes to union members to review and vote on.


A heat wave is on its way to San Diego starting tomorrow. The national weather service has issued a heat advisory for the San Diego valleys and the coastal areas from Carlsbad down to National City. temperatures are expected to be up to 25 degrees above average. San Diego valleys could see temperatures up to 100 degrees, up to 92 in the coastal areas. The heat advisory will be in effect starting tomorrow morning at 11am through 6pm on friday, with the hottest days on thursday and friday.


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

After hours of public comment, the San Diego City Council voted to move forward on a “no fault evictions” moratorium. The moratorium will end on either on September 30th–or 60 days after the local state of emergency–whichever comes first. The city council must rehear the ordinance before it can be enforced.

KPBS race and equity reporter Cristina Kim has more.

As their name suggests, No Fault evictions are when a tenant is evicted despite paying rent and obeying the lease BUT the landlord wants to leave the rental market, move into the property or substantially remodel.

Council President Sean Elo Rivera proposed the ordinance. His Deputy Chief of Staff Director of Transformative Policy Maya Rosas spoke ahead of the meeting instead.

For many of the region's landlords, however, the “no fault” eviction moratorium is a step in the wrong direction. They oppose the moratorium and say other solutions like rental assistance would be better instead.

Cristina Kim, KPBS News


The state extended pandemic rental relief in a bill signed late last week. Now the state attorney general’s office is putting some landlord attorneys on notice after receiving reports that their clients are using false claims in order to evict tenants.



San Diego County employees now have fewer Covid-19 restrictions they have to comply with. KPBS reporter Tania Thorne has more.

Starting Monday, unvaccinated county employees no longer have to test for COVID regularly and new hires don’t have to be vaccinated.

“All the measures we took around COVID were all designed to be temporary. It was based on the threat of the collapse of the healthcare system. We've worked our way out systematically step by step.”

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says the COVID vaccine still serves as a tool to fight the virus, including a new subvariant.

The situation we face today is fundamentally different than the one we faced you know 18 months ago, or two years ago and that we have the availability of the vaccine.

Fletcher encourages San Diegans to get vaccinated and boosted. You can do it at locations throughout the county.



The U-S Surgeon general was in town yesterday (Monday). He spoke with students about a worsening mental health crisis among young people. KPBS Health Reporter Matt Hoffman has more.

U-S Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was in Southeast San Diego visiting the Jackie Robinson YMCA.. He was looking at their programs designed to help kids with mental health challenges.. He also spent time listening to students from local high schools--

Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General

One thing that has just been striking to me is just how many young people are feeling isolated right now

The surgeon general’s visit comes after the CDC released new data last week showing how the pandemic has worsened kids mental health..

We have to do better by our kids, we’ve got to do that by investmenting in more treatment and making that accessible to them

The surgeon general also says there’s a stigma around mental health that has to be removed.. He says no young person should ever be afraid to seek treatment. MH KPBS News.


Coming up.... A Haitian family who spent more than a year waiting for a chance to request asylum in the United States will finally be allowed in. We’ll hear that story and more, next, just after the break.

A Trump-era ban on immigrants seeking asylum due to the COVID pandemic will end in May. But even before the ban’s end was announced last week, a family of Haitian asylum seekers did something very rare.

KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis says they entered the country through an exemption to Title 42.

It took a team of lawyers, doctors, and advocates on both sides of the border to convince officials to let a Haitian family pursue their asylum claim in the U.S.

The family’s 3-year-old daughter suffers from a debilitating skin condition and needs specialized care. Rashes cover her body and she scratches them to the point of bleeding.

Ginger Cline is a lawyer with Al Otro Lado. She says getting the exemption was a huge challenge.

“Three lawyers, we did have letters from three different doctors, and several follow ups with civil rights civil liberties. And I think it’s really tragic because this case should have been approved a lot sooner and this little girl would have been able to get the treatment that she needed much faster and have her symptoms alleviated because she has really been suffering this entire time and that was completely unnecessary.”

That family, along with thousands of other migrants, were blocked from crossing the border because of Title 42 – a public health order that gives border officials the authority to turn away asylum seekers.

But some people have been allowed in—Customs and Border Protection agents recently started granting Title 42 exemptions to Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war. Meanwhile, migrants from other countries such as Haiti, Honduras and Mexico are still prevented from pursuing their own asylum claims.

Blane Bookey is a lawyer with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies. She says the Haitian family’s case underscores how arbitrary our country’s asylum system is right now.

Just taking the case of this family I think you can see just how difficult it is for Haitians and for other individuals aside from the Ukrainians at this point in time to obtain an exemption form title 42.

It is rare for Haitian nationals to receive Title 42 exemptions. Cline says that only 21 percent of the nearly 1,000 exemption petitions have been granted.

And border officials don’t tell lawyers why some petitions get denied while others are approved. There is no public guideline for who gets an exemption or why.

Cline says lack of transparency from Customs and Border Protection makes it difficult for lawyers to help migrants.

“Because we don’t get any information from CBP about what went into the decision or the criteria that they were considering, we don’t really have much insight into how they make those decisions and the reasons why some cases are approved and others are not.”

Entering the U.S. is just the first step in a long and complicated legal battle. The family could be separated or remain in custody throughout the case. Or they could be allowed to stay with relatives in Florida who are willing to take them in. Bookey r explains what will happen next.

“After that, they will have to go through a court process to apply for asylum which will require meeting with an attorney if they are lucky enough to find one, gathering of the evidence necessary to show that they are at risk for persecution or torture in Haiti, testifying in court showing that they meet all of the legal requirements. It is a very long and grueling process for people who have been through such trauma.”

In the end, most asylum cases are denied.

Title 42 will end May 23. But until then, hundreds of asylum seekers will continue to be turned away at the border on a daily basis.

That was KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said, consistent with the health order, they continue to exempt particularly vulnerable individuals from Title 42 on a case-by-case basis.


Thousands of Ukrainians continue to arrive in Tijuana. The ones who have been here for a few weeks are starting to adjust … But KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado tells us fear for their loved ones has spiked after seeing images of the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Bucha.

After being overwhelmed by the thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the horrors of war, Tijuana officials opened up a shelter. Hundreds more are still camping near the port of entry. Since Russia waged war on Ukraine, more than 3000 Ukranians have crossed through the San Ysidro port of entry.

Nat sound of her there at house of ukraine

Some are already starting to settle in San Diego … among them Oxana Mushchenko.

The former teacher arrived here with her husband and children a few weeks ago. She now volunteers at the House of Ukraine in Balboa Park. This cultural center has become ground zero for fundraising for the country under siege.

My mind visited only difficult thoughts

She’s stayed in contact with family and friends who stayed in Ukraine … and until now she was hopeful they could quickly move on after the war.

Oxana Mushchenko

Fled War in Ukraine with family

Now, I feel empty in my heart.

Images of people murdered execution style in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, where Russian soldiers occupied until recently, have left her so traumatized it’s hard to speak. Reporters who have witnessed the aftermath say there’s evidence of war crimes. Fellow volunteer Nina Kay who was helping translate steps in as Oxana shut down.

Nina Kay

Volunteer, House of Ukraine

I’m afraid Oxana is having PTSD right now, those pictures that we saw that what Russians did in Bucha affected her terribly. those horrifying pictures of atrocity in Bucha completely destroyed her.

Weighing heavy on her heart is her friend and colleague, a math teacher, Viktoria, who stayed behind to take care of her elderly parents. She says Viktora and her family were brutalized by Russian soldiers who broke into their home … they stayed for days then took her with them when they left.

Nat sound breathing speaking Ukrainian

Knowing how it happened it just horrifies her and she’s just devastated really worried, she was one of her best friends.

Kay, says this is a turning point

Nina Kay

Volunteer House of Ukraine

Those mass graves, it just, they just, it just destroys me to see what’s happening in Ukraine.

San Diegans like Wendy Sammons are coming in to donate and offer support. She says she wishes she could do more, and something must be done to stop this war.

It’s hard to just go in there and start world war three, we don’t want that but we have to stop this, whatever it takes, I don’t know, I just know it needs to stop

Kay says people like Wendy make all the difference.

Kitty Alvarado KPBS News.

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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On Monday the San Diego City Council voted to advance a “no fault” eviction moratorium. Meanwhile, the U.S. Surgeon General was in southeast San Diego on Monday, speaking to students about a growing mental health crisis among youths. Plus, a Haitian family has made it into the U.S. on an exemption in Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic policy that prevents migrants from seeking asylum.