San Diego County Proposes to Build “Tent City” for Illegal Immigrants


Proposal comes just one day after county creates a $5 million fund to provide free lawyers to illegal immigrants to fight deportation

Carl DeMaio, former San Diego City Councilman and Chairman of Reform California, is sounding the alarm and bringing public attention to a solicitation issued on Wednesday May 5 by the County of San Diego asking local land owners to offer unused agriculture land for the site of a proposed “Tent City” for illegal immigrants.

DeMaio is blasting the Tent City proposal - and is urging the Democratically-controlled County Board to immediately suspend work on the idea.

“This proposal is outrageous and should be immediately rejected by the County Board of Supervisors,” said DeMaio.

“First they seize the San Diego Convention Center to house illegal immigrants and now they are proposing the creation of a Tent City to house illegal immigrants,” DeMaio lamented. “County residents should be alarmed about the negative consequences of siting a ‘Tent City’ filled with illegal immigrants that will undoubtedly result in a wide range of negative impacts to public safety, public health, and the environment,” DeMaio warned.

The Tent City proposal comes a day after the San Diego County Board voted to create a $5 million “legal defense fund” using taxpayer money to provide a free lawyer to illegal immigrants who are fighting deportation. “US citizens aren’t given a free lawyer when they face a civil case from the IRS or the Labor Department - they are expected to pay their own legal costs - but here we have illegal immigrants getting preferential treatment once again,” notes DeMaio.

If the Tent City proposal is pursued, DeMaio anticipates a lawsuit will be filed. DeMaio is also raising concerns that the proposed Tent City would circumvent the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). “The County is proposing a major change in land use from Agricultural to Residential which raises all kinds of legal problems and detrimental impacts to the community,” warns DeMaio.

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