Morning Report: Few Resources to Help African Migrants at the Border - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Few Resources to Help African Migrants at the Border

Kidane Tesfagabriel, an Eritrean who came to the United States as a refugee in the 1980s, now works to help Eritrean asylum-seekers. / Photo by Maya Srikrishnan

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More than a thousand African migrants have been detained in Mexico this year, and an increasing number have been making their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. But with language and other cultural barriers, few tap into resources available to Central American and Mexican migrants.

VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan visited several Eritrean migrants in Tijuana where volunteers and advocacy groups are trying to bridge some of those gaps.

“When it comes to the black migrants, there is no spotlight on their ordeal,” said Guerline Jozef of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “We have to literally go find them, which is very disconcerting and heartbreaking. We have a community of black migrants since 2015 who have never been a central focus of the immigrant justice movement. There is a lack of narrative. Therefore, there are no services for them.”

YIMBYs in … North County?

Despite the demise of a high-profile state bill that would have allowed four- to five-story apartment buildings near major transit stops, it’s been a pretty good year for San Diego YIMBYs.

Now they’re setting their sights on North County, where Democratic and Republican leaders alike tend to be skeptical of housing development.

VOSD’s Jesse Marx interviewed James Contino, who’s launching a North County YIMBY club next month, and Rachel Stevens, a San Diego-based organizer for the California YIMBYs, about about their efforts to build political infrastructure in North County. Their group made a conscious decision to be non-partisan so they could target elected officials from both parties.

“You can’t have the mindset of ‘I already got mine,’” Contino said. “We are in a housing crisis — underline crisis, exclamation point, exclamation point. And if we let this get more out of hand, we are going to be really screwed.”

Sweetwater Is Cutting 82 Positions Amid Budget Crisis

The Sweetwater Union High School District will have 82 fewer positions next year, as it tries to climb out of a massive budget hole first revealed by Voice of San Diego.

The elimination of those positions doesn’t mean people will be losing their jobs, though, a district spokesman told NBC San Diego.

The employees whose jobs are on the list took advantage of an early retirement incentive,” NBC reports. “They are among the 340 people who retired early to save the District money. The other 260 jobs will not be eliminated, but the hope is the district can hire new people who will be paid less in salary and benefits.”

A refresher on how we got here:

At the beginning of this school year, Sweetwater officials said they suddenly discovered they were short an astonishing $30 million, VOSD’s Will Huntsberry reported. That meant the district would have to make the unusual move of scrambling to cut millions from its budget in real time.

But it turns out the crisis wasn’t as sudden and unexpected as officials led the public to believe.

The Board of Education was warned it must cut costs, but instead it raised salaries. Administrative staff ballooned even as enrollment dropped. Documents and staffers’ accounts show officials ignored warnings of an impending crisis as recently as last year. State investigators made the shocking announcement that they believed Sweetwater officials had engaged in financial fraud.

The County Board of Education took control over the board’s decision-making. The SEC started poking around and is currently in the process of requesting documents from Sweetwater related to its ongoing investigation.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Sara Libby.

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