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Morning Report: ICE Appears to Be Using DMV Databases to Target Immigrants

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A California law allows unauthorized immigrants to get a driver’s license. Approved in 2013, AB 60 was supposed to help bring a workforce out of the shadows.

But it may also be exposing unauthorized immigrants who have no criminal history to federal immigration authorities [1].

During several recent arrests, Maya Srikrishnan reports, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had copies of an unauthorized immigrant’s license or other information provided to the DMV. Immigration advocates believe the federal government had been able to track these folks thanks to database-sharing practices among law enforcement agencies.

The Department of Homeland Security agencies — including ICE and Customs and Border Protection — have acknowledged that they tap into databases for criminal investigations, but they aren’t required to explain each individual inquiry, and they don’t keep track.

City Leaders Will Shelter Homeless Within City Hall Complex

One of the city’s shelters will soon move to City Hall’s front doorstep — at least for a few months.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has decided to temporarily house [2] as many as 150 homeless women and families at Golden Hall, an event center next to the City Administration building, following the planned spring closure of Father Joe’s Villages bridge shelter tent, Lisa Halverstadt reports.

City officials have wrestled for months [3] with how to accommodate both homeless San Diegans and Father Joe’s existing shelter tent, which must come down this spring to make way for a supportive housing project.

Late last week, after months of pressure from homeless advocates, Faulconer’s team announced it had secured a location for the tent and would house homeless women and families at Golden Hall during the three months it will take to take down and reassemble the tent.

Dearest Convention Center, We’re Just Not That Into You

After bursting into flames last year, a multibillion-dollar expansion of San Diego’s waterfront convention center is headed to the ballot in 2020. But if past behavior is an indicator of future turnout, Voice contributor Randy Dotinga writes, then the outlook is hazy at best, even though voters would be hiking taxes on hotel guests instead of themselves.

San Diegans have a well-deserved reputation for refusing to pony up the money [4] to build things — especially convention centers. Voters killed convention center projects in 1946, twice in 1956 and in 1981.

Voters also turned down a Depression-era plan for a waterfront city-county civic center three times. Only federal money spearheaded by President Franklin Roosevelt turned a city-county civic center into the reality we now know as the landmark, art-deco and extremely pink County Administration Center.

Politics Roundup

Gore Agrees to Drop Fee Demands on Misconduct Records

A San Diego County Superior Court judge granted several media outlets, including Voice of San Diego, the right to intervene in a lawsuit brought by eight local police unions seeking to stop the release of officer misconduct files made available through a new state law. The unions argue that the law, SB 1421, only applies to records created after Jan. 1, 2019. We disagree.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Department is not objecting to the release of those records and appears to be willing to release the records free of charge.

Last week, Sheriff Bill Gore’s legal advisers sent initial cost estimates to the KPBS and Voice totaling several hundred thousand dollars [9], arguing that they would need to hire someone to help redact parts of video before release. But after the U-T editorial board’s Matt Hall made the case to Gore directly [10] that the fees could have a chilling effect on SB 1421 records requests, Gore dropped the fees and said he wanted to build confidence in his department.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.