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August 31, 2018

Otay Mesa Detention Center - and some south bay fun

My kid brother, Marty, is stopping over for a few days as he returns to his home in Mazatl├ín.  He has a nice 4 bedroom/4 bath house a block off the beach! and teaches English there most winters.
To celebrate we opened my last bottle of Monte Xanic and sat out on the deck just chatting. 
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Marty likes to stay busy and actively seeks ways to supplement his postal employee pension.  To extend his stay next year he has an interview with San Diego’s Otay Mesa Detention Center which is operated by CoreCivic, a for profit prison/detention center owner/manager. 

This is a secure facility with 2 layers of chain link fencing, each with razor wire, also an electric fence.  Although we are both going into the facility, he is the only one going past the lobby, still I was not allowed a camera nor cell phone past the first of the multiple electronic entrance gates.  So no inside pictures of the clean comfortable lobby. Hope the rest of the facility was as nice!
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Reuters did a post with pictures a few months ago from inside the facility that can be seen HERE.

His interview was for mailroom position including security of parcels/letters.   As a retired postal worker he is probably over qualified for the minimum wage position.  It's interesting that the Otay Mesa is the only facility that can expand in SoCal, as they look toward their future Marty took an interesting look at his own options!

As of this typing the facility can accommodate 1500 ‘guests’.  Currently with over 1000 Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) occupants (asylum seekers, illegal border crossers – who have committed no crime only an immigration violation) and over 300 occupants from the US Marshal's Office, these are legal US residents (not citizens) awaiting deportation for a crime (or crimes), after they have served their sentence in a US prison. 

BTW – no cell phones or cameras are allowed in the facility!   A fella was escorted into the internals of the facility for using a cell phone in the lobby.   I did not see him again.

After sitting for an hour, Marty in an interview room – me in the lobby, it was time for a walk’n’talk.  The Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge is perfect, with a few miles of beach that is never crowded.  Can you tell Marty has been coached on how to pose?
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From the boardwalk, a log stretch of beach can be walked all the way to TJ at low tide.  It was high tide this trip, but Fran and I had a low tide a couple years ago.  That blog can be found HERE if you want additional info.  We had to turn back at the Tijuana River.
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Marty was the one in the interview room.  Stacking a few rocks to create a Zen garden seemed like a good idea.  But I’ll have to admit neither of us have the Zen gene to calm the rocks!
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I did not see any of the little Snowy Plover on today, but all of their breading grounds was behind the fence. Maybe next time.
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A nice long walk on the beach called for a beer, and IB has a very nice Coronado Brewing Company across from the pier, where we both ordered the fish tacos
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The Farmer’s Market had opened at 2, while we were having lunch.  Neither of us are in the least bit hungry, but the lumpia smelled so good …. we did split an order with a couple left for Fran.
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Lots of other fun choices, too.  I cannot remember the last time I had a ‘Spam Ball’, in fact Marty did not even know that Spam had balls!
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We needed to walk some more if only to negate the lumpia.  The IB pier was calling.  Looking north from the pier Coronado is in the distance.  The Tin Fish is a popular spot on the pier – insider tip …. skip the crab cake!

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I like a good Empanada too, and I can see Marty is tempted … But we left deprived – until next time!
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That was our day, trust yours was great too.  No Bad Days!

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