Morning Report: Police Stepped Up Arrests Before Homeless Count

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Morning Report: Police Stepped Up Arrests Before Homeless Count

A homeless woman walks down 17th Street in downtown San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Police made triple the arrests on charges typically related to homelessness in two key downtown ZIP codes in the week leading up to the annual homeless count last Friday.

VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt reports 62 people were arrested in the week before the count. But many others may have left the area where enforcement was constrained to avoid run-ins with the police.  

The arrests could ultimately reduce the final tally of the homeless census. While homeless people in jail are added unofficially to the count, they aren’t included in the official total.

The ramped up enforcement was not related to the point in time count, a police official told Voice. Police were responding to increased complaints from residents about a growing number of tents in the area, he said.

County May Sue Trump Admin Over Migrant Release Policy

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said she wants to sue the federal government for ending its safe release policy for migrants last October.

Prior to October, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials made sure migrants applying for asylum had a plan for getting to their next destination and support from a sponsor somewhere in the United States when they were released from custody. But since the policy change, ICE has been releasing migrants into the United States without detailed plans of support.

As a result, roughly 5,200 individuals have been left in San Diego without shelter, resources or transportation,” VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan reports.

County supervisors are none too happy about the Trump administration’s change in policy and may try to sue to recover costs the county has had to bear as a result of the policy change.

On Tuesday, the supervisors voted to use the old family courthouse building downtown as a shelter location through the end of the year.

Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Is Here

The United States on Tuesday returned a Honduran asylum-seeker to Mexico. And with that, the Washington Post reports, one of the most drastic changes in the recent history of American asylum policy has begun.

The Trump administration is trying to deter migration by reducing the number of asylum-seekers who live and work in the United States while awaiting their court hearings.

But there’s a catch. The Associated Press reports that the head of Mexico’s immigration agency said his country won’t accept migrants younger than 18 while they await the resolution of U.S. asylum claims.

Museums Hope Cheap Admission Will Boost San Diego’s Profile

Paying for basic needs like food and housing in San Diego is difficult enough, and a cultural experience shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why the San Diego Museum Council is expanding the availability of half-price passes to museums and libraries for February, aka Museum Month, now in its 30th year.

In the Culture Report, Voice contributor Julia Dixon Evans writes that the council’s new executive director is trying to raise the visibility of the city’s artistic institutions on an international level.

There are also a bunch of interesting documentaries screening at MOPA through the weekend that feature Q&As with the filmmakers or the subjects. Topics range from the trans experience in the military to climate change to a small town Ohio football town facing a disturbing rape case.

In Other News

Corrections

Our story on the county floating a potential lawsuit against the Trump administration over its policy of releasing migrants into San Diego misstated the potential cost of providing medical screenings at the migrant shelter through the end of the year. It could cost $4 million.

Sunday’s What We Learned This Week said the San Diego Unified School board did not include any Latino members. Richard Barrera is Latino.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said the San Diego Museum Council was in its 30th year. Museum Month, run by the Council, is in its 30th year.

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

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