Morning Report: The City Wants to Shelter Asylum-Seekers at East County Facility - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: The City Wants to Shelter Asylum-Seekers at East County Facility

A coalition of nonprofits has been operating a shelter for migrants in San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

For months, dozens of asylum-seekers have been released by federal officials in San Diego each night, and advocates and nonprofits continued to scramble to temporarily shelter the vulnerable families during the holidays.

The groups have regularly feared that they wouldn’t have enough beds to accommodate the migrants. And now on their fifth shelter location in just over two months, they have also wearied over an early February deadline to vacate their current space.

Now city leaders want state officials to consider using Camp Barrett, a shuttered county juvenile detention center in Alpine that’s owned by the city.

Maya Srikrishnan and Lisa Halverstadt break the news on the city’s proposal that the state and other stakeholders consider the East County facility as a new migrant shelter space. They also shed light on the nightly rush to accommodate migrants – some of whom are dropped in front of a San Ysidro McDonald’s with no resources or means to reach family in other parts of the state or country – and county officials’ more recent efforts to help address the crisis.

Port Chairman Announces Bid for County Supervisor

The steady stream of 2020 candidates opening their campaigns continued Thursday, with Port Chairman Rafael Castellanos announcing his run to represent the South Bay on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Castellanos has represented the city of San Diego on the Port of San Diego since 2013 and became chairman since last year. He ran unsuccessfully to be San Diego’s city attorney in 2016 and has taken the lead on the Port’s push over the last year to improve transportation options and traffic around the San Diego International Airport.

During Castellanos’ city attorney bid, we vetted an attorney at Castellanos’ former firm’s claim that she had an uncomfortable sexual encounter with him and was forced out of the firm after she raised it to her supervisors. It never really materialized as a major topic in the primary race for a seat that few voters pay much attention to in the first place.

The District 1 county supervisor seat Castellanos is seeking is currently held by Republican Greg Cox, who is termed out after representing the South County area on the board since 1995. In the time he’s held the seat, it’s become heavily Democratic and expectations are that a Democrat will succeed Cox. Former Councilman David Alvarez announced a run for the seat all the way back in 2017, but late last year indicated that he isn’t sure whether he’ll go through with the race. Alvarez was a strong supporter of Castellanos’ city attorney bid.

San Diego’s Got a New U.S. Attorney

Late Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Robert Brewer as San Diego’s new U.S. attorney. Brewer ran unsuccessfully for district attorney in 2014 and was nominated last year by President Donald Trump to take over federal prosecutions here, as the Union-Tribune reported Thursday. Brewer has not taken office yet and it’s not clear when he will.

Back when Brewer was first nominated, we put together this list of things you should know about his background.

U-T reporter Greg Moran raised a compelling question on Twitter following news of Brewer’s confirmation. Brewer has been a lawyer at Seltzer Caplan, the firm that is defending Rep. Duncan Hunter on federal charges alleging he used more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use. Does that mean Brewer would have to recuse himself from the high-profile case?

Photos: The New Year’s Eve Border Standoff

Our contributing photographer Vito Di Stefano was on the tense and chaotic scene at the border on the night of New Year’s Eve, when border agents fired tear gas at a group of migrants attempting to illegally cross the border fence.

He gave Maya Srikrishnan an account of what he saw, but he also provided a series of haunting photos of the encounter.

Here’s a sampling:

U.S. border agents deploy more tear gas at migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border fence. / Photo by Vito Di Stefano
A migrant child looks on from the highway at the scene unfolding at the U.S.-Mexico border fence near the Playas area of Tijuana. / Photo by Vito Di Stefano

Check out the full post to see all the incredible images.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts.

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