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Tijuana frustrated with Biden’s immigration policies

 April 27, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday, April 27th>>>>

Tijuana and the title 42 debacleMore on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

San Diego home prices have soared at rates not seen since the 2004 housing boom. The region’s home prices have increased 29 percent since last year. That’s according to the S&P Case-Shiller Indices released Tuesday. It compares this February to last February. San Diego has the fourth highest rate in the nation, behind Phoenix, Tampa, and Miami.

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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of buying a twin engine helicopter to help battle wildfires. The helicopter is estimated to cost 16-million dollars. The new twin engine chopper will be able to fly at night and carry more water than the county’s current single engine helicopters

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Tijuana will be getting 50 air quality sensors in an effort to monitor and improve air quality in the border region. The California Air Resources Board made the announcement Tuesday. The sensors will identify sources of high concentrations of air pollution so that Mexican officials can enforce existing emissions rules. The Air resources board described the area as “subject to emissions from heavy industry and international trade.” They say air pollution is a primary health concern for border communities.

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

Comments from a federal judge have put plans to end Title 42, a controversial Trump-era asylum policy, in limbo. But regardless of how the judge ultimately rules, KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis says there are still many questions about what the end of Title 42 would mean for asylum seekers.

Julia Nuesner has spent the last two years visiting border cities and documenting the struggles of migrants who were turned away from the U.S. via Title 42.

This is the order the Trump administration put in place at the beginning of the pandemic that gives Customs and Border Patrol agents the power to turn away asylum seekers without a hearing.

Nuesner is an attorney with Human Rights First. She recently visited Tijuana and talked to some migrants about the Biden administration’s plan to end the program on May 23.

Their reaction to the news wasn’t particularly positive.

“So when I was visiting shelters in Tijuana the administration had just announced its intention to end the program. And I think more than anything, people had questions and doubts.”

The Biden administration waited nearly a month before releasing a detailed plan of how they plan to handle the end of Title 42. That plan was released Tuesday and calls for increasing staff along the southern border, expanding migrant processing capacity, supporting local nonprofits, and deporting unauthorized migrants who are not requesting asylum.

This lack of clear messaging has continually frustrated Tijuana officials during the Biden administration.

Enrique Lucero is director of the city’s Migrant Affairs Department.

He says when Trump was in office, at least everyone knew what to expect.

“Por lo menos con Trump, sabias a que jugabas. Decia no aqui no queremos migrantes y no llegaron migrantes. Pero con esta nueva administrasion no se sabe.”

Lucero says Trump wasn’t shy about his anit-immigrant stances and largely followed up his messaging with actions.

But that hasn’t been the case with Biden.

Over and over on the 2020 campaign trail, Biden promised to end Trump’s harsh anti-immigration policies and restore the asylum process.

So when Biden won the election, thousands of migrants came to Tijuana and waited for Trump’s policies to go away.

But nothing happened with Title 42. So, all of those people just stayed in Tijuana.

“En dos mensajes que Joe Biden a dado nos a puesto en situacciones como la que estamos. La simple llegada de Biden a la presiencia fue lo que provoco el campamento en Chaparral. Esa esperanza que el mismo anuncio que iba a areglar el processo de asilo y dale pa tras todas la politicas anit migratorias de trump.”

Lucero says the mixed messaging put Tijuana in a bad spot.

Now, with less than a month to go before the planned end date, another twist. A federal judge in Louisiana this week indicated his intention to block the termination of Title 42.

According to the case’s briefing schedule, the judge could make his final ruling the week before May 23.

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick is a senior policy counsel for the American Immigration Council. He says we won’t know anything until right before the termination date.

“So realistically speaking, we will probably get a decision just before May 23. It could be a few days it could be a week… The schedule is such that we are not going to find out about this until really the last minute.”

Until then, asylum seekers in Tijuana will stay in their precarious limbo.

Gustavo Solis, KPBS News

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Chula Vista is sometimes called one of the most surveilled cities in the country. But it took initial steps this week to create a policy that protects its residents’ privacy rights. KPBS’s Amita Sharma has more.

Years after Chula Vista police began using surveillance tools like license plate readers and drones, the city has assembled a Technology and Privacy Advisory Task Force. The mix of tech experts, residents and privacy advocates hope to draft guidelines that balance the city’s technology use with limits on what kind of data is picked up by surveillance devices and how that information is used. Nick Paul is a Chula Vista activist.

“This is an opportunity for the community to make sure that surveillance tech and technology in general in the city is used responsibly.”

The task force plans to develop a privacy policy to present to the Chula Vista City Council for approval this fall. Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

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Accusations continue to unfold in the troubled San Dieguito Union High School District.

A group of parents is now calling for the resignation of the School Board Vice-President

KPBS Education Reporter M.G. Perez explains.

Michael Allman is Vice President of the San Dieguito Union High School District Board of Trustees. He was targeted for recall last year…but opponents failed to collect enough signatures.

Now a group of the community’s parents wants him to resign, claiming Allman continues to harass families and school staff who oppose him.

Robyne Rooter-bush is one of the parents who wants Allman out.

“Our administrators, our principals and our teachers are protecting our kids right now from the chaos and the Board of Trustees.”

Allman also supported putting Superintendent Cheryl James Ward on administrative leave and potential termination because of racially biased comments she made. Ward filed a harassment claim against Allman last month.

Allman denies the harassment accusations and says he will have more to say later. MGP KPBS News

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Coming up.... Novelist Don Winslow, known for using San Diego and Tijuana as a backdrop for his crime novels, says he’s retiring. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.

Novelist Don Winslow has used the San Diego/ Tijuana border locale as the backdrop for some of his most famous crime novels. Books like Savages and the Cartel trilogy have gained both critical and popular success. Now after plumbing the depths of Mexican cartels in his novels, Winslow has moved to an exploration of East Coast Mafia wars for a new trilogy…the first in the series is called City on Fire.

It’s a book that’s already sparked praise as well as controversy for its subject matter and language. And it’s also led to a surprising announcement from Winslow, one of the most celebrated crime novelists in the country. He’s retiring from writing.

Don Winslow joined KPBS Midday Edition host Maureen Kavanaugh. Here’s that interview.

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This Saturday, the San Diego Shakespeare Society and Write Out Loud present the 17th Annual Student Shakespeare Festival. It will be in person with students K through 12 performing scenes from Shakespeare. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando previews the festival

San Diego Shakespeare Society’s Student Shakespeare Festival is a delightful and impressive event. Board president Nathan Agin says the festival proves how relevant the Bard can be even centuries after his death and how accessible he can be even to kindergarteners.

NATHAN AGIN: We just saw some very young students, maybe six or seven and they had no sense of any stage fright, they just do it and they just have fun and they love to run around and do the lines and it's a great time so why would you not enjoy that.

San Diego Shakespeare Society is dedicated to getting people and especially kids excited about the Bard. This year Write Out Loud has joined the festival as a producing partner. Its artistic director Veronica Murphy has been organizing workshops to help students better understand Shakespeare’s language and to prepare for performances. The festival promises a great time for audiences.

VERONICA MURPHY I think they can expect a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of kids that really do know what they're doing as far as the story and the language goes.

The 17th Annual Student Shakespeare Festival is free and starts Saturday at 11 AM at Heritage Park in Old Town.

Beth Accomando, 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.

Mexican officials say delays in policy changes and poor communication have created unnecessary problems. Meanwhile, Chula Vista took steps this week to create policy to protect the privacy of its residents. Also, novelist Don Winslow announces he’s retiring from writing.