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Good morning.

In current weeks, thousands of children have crossed the southern border, traveling without parents, in pursuit of security and safety in the United States.

The surge has created one of many Biden administration’s largest political challenges but, as my colleagues have reported. It can also be an pressing logistical trial, not only for the federal authorities but additionally for the native leaders and community of nonprofit organizations which were known as upon to assist shelter the younger migrants.

One of the primary locations to open its doorways to the youngsters was the San Diego Convention Center.

Earlier this week, I talked with San Diego’s mayor, Todd Gloria, about situations there and in regards to the position native leaders can play in addressing what he described as a humanitarian emergency.

Here’s our dialog, frivolously edited and condensed:

So first, I’m hoping you’ll be able to discuss a bit about how San Diego acquired concerned — what was the decision like from the federal authorities?

I used to be dwelling my life on a Saturday and I acquired this name. My predecessor had transformed the conference middle into a short lived homeless shelter.

The weekend of that decision, I used to be making ready to go and observe the relocation of those unsheltered San Diegans to different city-operated shelters that had been shut down through the pandemic. So in my thoughts, I assumed, “Yeah, we have a convention center that’s going to be available starting Monday.”

Plenty of years in the past, San Diego adopted a “Welcoming City” policy. It was time to take these insurance policies and make them actual.

What type of capability is there on the conference middle? And about how lengthy are youngsters staying there?

Our capability based mostly on social distancing is 1,450 youngsters. And we’re about there proper now.

We’ve been receiving youngsters every day. That first day we acquired about 500 children.

As the youngsters come ahead, they’re treating them uniquely. Some children have excessive well being points and want to be transferred to medical services. Some of the youngsters have arrived and are pregnant, and it’s simply not an applicable setting for them.

The common keep is anticipated to be about 30 days, our federal companions have instructed me. That’s a time period to set up contact with relations or sponsors, confirm identities. The issues round labor and human trafficking are vital — we’re doing our due diligence to make it possible for doesn’t occur.

Can you describe what the situations are like on the website?

As the mayor of the town, it’s vital to me that they meet the excessive requirements that I count on of somebody working in that constructing. We’re not going to have any chain hyperlink fencing. We’re not going to have any tin foil blankets. The situations there are far superior to what I’ve seen the place these youngsters have been beforehand positioned in immigration detention or in custody. But it’s not a house, proper?

It seems like a conference middle, with plenty of cots clustered in teams of 50. There’s stuff across the perimeter, like tables for crafts. When I used to be there on a Sunday morning, they have been making bracelets with beads. The San Diego Loyal soccer team donated some soccer equipment.

There are some school rooms on the second ground. Rady Children’s Hospital is on-site. It’s staffed by federal staff, county staff and nonprofit companions led by South Bay Community Services.

What would you say to constituents or anybody, actually, who says these are inhumane situations for kids? Or, conversely, that they don’t need San Diego to pay to deal with them? Have you heard feedback like that?

I’ve heard, “I don’t want city resources going to that.” But that is on the federal authorities’s dime. The solely metropolis assets in that is our conference middle, which is a public asset and it could not be used if it weren’t for this. You can’t have a serious conference in California proper now.

When we now have a necessity that entails youngsters, why would you permit that asset unutilized? Why would you let the employees who work there keep on unemployment once we can put them to work serving to look after these youngsters?

When persons are hurting, you will have to take motion. No one, I believe, feels this example is right. But if you need to wait till this will get fastened, meaning leaving youngsters in completely unacceptable situations. So I didn’t hesitate to say sure. The County of San Diego didn’t hesitate to say sure.

How lengthy do you anticipate having the ability to do that? What’s the endgame?

Our lease with the federal authorities goes till July 15. And we we’ve been very clear on that. When I mentioned sure, to my information the one metropolis doing this kind of operation was Dallas.

Subsequently, there have been different cities to both elevate the hand and volunteer, like Long Beach, or I believe there are others in negotiation. The stock of shelter choices is rising. That provides me some confidence. This is an emergency response posture.

But the federal authorities is sheltering 1000’s of kids on any given day. Some of that, it appears, was actually diminished or undermined through the Trump administration. So it isn’t to the size that the present scenario calls for.

What I see is our companions on the Department of Health and Human Services working to develop that present community of non-congregate settings, that are higher than these large-scale operations like at our conference middle.

I take some satisfaction in that we really set out with excessive expectations and we’re assembly these. And I believe that’s getting different cities and different communities consolation to say, “OK, this is what it looks like.”

[Read more about the anxiety parents are facing not hearing from their children.]


  • In spring 2020, the wine business was scrambling to discover a manner of promoting wines, worrying whether or not they would find a way to pay their employees and anxious about how their companies would survive. A yr later, their worst fears weren’t realized, and some wine producers are doing higher than they thought attainable. [New York Times]

  • A brand new partnership between state parks and Hipcamp, a web based reserving platform, guarantees to make reserving campsites simpler. [San Francisco Chronicle]


California Today goes reside at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you need to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Were you forwarded this e-mail? Sign up for California Today here and read every edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported everywhere in the state, together with the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — however she at all times desires to see extra. Follow alongside right here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.





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