Morning Report: 'Remain in Mexico' Is as Chaotic as Ever - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: 'Remain in Mexico' Is as Chaotic as Ever

The seal of the Executive Office for Immigration Review / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

On Tuesday, Julia, a Guatemalan migrant, was granted asylum by an immigration judge in San Diego, making her one of a handful of people sent back to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocol to actually win the right to remain in the United States.

But nearly two days later, despite winning her asylum claim, Julia and her 7-year-old son remain in Border Patrol custody, reports VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan.

Julia’s case embodies the chaos and confusion surrounding the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy. The program went into effect nearly eight months ago, when the pilot began at San Diego’s border. It requires people seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to be returned to Mexico to wait for their legal proceedings. The program has since expanded to other parts of the border, and roughly 45,000 people have been returned to Mexico under the program.

Even in a rare case in which an asylum-seeker had family in the U.S. to help her financially while she was forced to stay in Mexico and to pay for an attorney, and even after winning her case, Julia was still met with continued detention, bureaucracy and uncertainty.

Issa Nom Hits Another Snag

Darrell Issa’s nomination to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has languished for a year. The former congressman finally got a hearing Thursday in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but it didn’t last long.

The vote and discussion on Issa’s nomination was postponed after members of the committee raised concerns over his confidential FBI background file. The Republican chairman agreed to delay the proceedings until the White House made the report available to the full committee, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

We’ve known for years that Issa received bad marks while in the Army for allegedly stealing a car. Issa has been open about it. But New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the ranking committee member, suggested to the Times that the FBI file contained more than what was already public. 

Issa left Congress in 2018 but has vowed to run for Rep. Duncan Hunter’s neighboring seat, which is centered in East County, if his nomination to the Trump administration doesn’t go through by early November.

The Faulconer-Carson Meeting: Housing and BreakfastGate

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with HUD Secretary Ben Carson Thursday.

The meeting, which came at the request of HUD, was a late add to Carson’s planned tour of the Veteran’s Village campus and bridge shelter, according to a press release from the mayor’s office. San Diego is one of several cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, that Carson visited in California this week.

Carson also praised San Diego’s efforts to reduce homelessness. VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt has dug into those efforts and come to murkier conclusions about the results. 

Faulconer’s office tweeted a photo of the meeting that caught our attention. In it, Carson is drinking a beverage from a paper carton that appears to be orange juice, and has some sort of breaded snack, the contents of which consumed the VOSD office for a full hour.

Was it a calzone? It looks like one, but surely he wouldn’t wash down a calzone with OJ.

A sad microwaved pot pie?

Was Faulconer’s office subtly trolling a Trump administration official by feeding him delicious pan dulce

The Twittersphere seemed relatively certain the snack was a bear claw. It would time well with the OJ, after all.

Finally, we broke down and asked the mayor’s office whether it was a calzone, because we are mature adults who do productive things at work.

A spokeswoman who was not present at the meeting responded: “ I cannot confirm that it wasn’t but I believe it looks like a cream filled breakfast pastry.”

More (Incremental) Progress Toward ‘San Diego Grand Central’

SANDAG and the U.S. Navy have inked a contract to start planning for a redevelopment of the old SPAWAR property (that long warehouse along I-5 in Old Town) for a regional transportation hub that would finally connect the airport to the region’s transit system, as the Union-Tribune reported.

The new contract replaces a memorandum of understanding that the Navy and SANDAG agreed to earlier this year. Like the MOU, the contract doesn’t guarantee anything, but like the MOU, it moves the complicated process along and makes what would be a major regional project that much more likely.

The Learning Curve: Marten on School Safety

Earlier this week, VOSD’s Will Huntsberry put together a searchable database of schools at San Diego Unified School District and results of surveys from each of them showing how safe students felt in their school.

In his education newsletter, Huntsberry follows up with San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten about survey results that show students in some district schools feel unsafe on campus.

Her answer, Huntsberry notes, was “less than fulfilling.”

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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