San Diego Official Says City Is “New Epicenter” Of Border Crisis

Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times,

A San Diego County official has branded the city the “new epicenter” for illegal immigration and claimed that Border Patrol has become “the ‘Uber’ for migrants” entering the county.

“San Diego is the new epicenter for migrants and illegal immigration,” San Diego District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond posted on the social media platform X on April 25.

“The surge in illegal crossings has propelled San Diego to the unfortunate position of leading all nine southern border sectors in April, a trend unseen since the 1990s.”

On Wednesday alone, Border Patrol apprehended 2,000 illegal immigrants within the San Diego sector, according to Mr. Desmond. Among them were 206 Chinese nationals, he said.

Since Oct. 1st, there have been nearly 215,000 apprehensions representing individuals from 75 different countries in the San Diego sector, Mr. Desmond wrote in the post.

“Moreover, the closure of the processing center has led to over 30,000 migrant drop-offs in the past two months alone, with projections of more than 1,000 drop-offs expected today,” he continued.

“This doesn’t account for the frequent occurrences of boats washing ashore, averaging three to four incidents weekly. ”

Mr. Desmond appeared to be referencing the $6 million Migrant Welcome Center that shut down in San Diego in February due to a lack of funding.

The District 5 supervisor went on to state that human smugglers have identified California—and in particular the San Diego border sector—as “the path of least resistance” for illegal immigrants.

“Border Patrol has inadvertently become the ‘Uber’ for migrants entering San Diego County, and the County is the travel agent,” he concluded.

Illegal immigrants ‘Just Walking Across the Border’

Speaking to Newsnation later on April 25, Mr. Desmond claimed that people are “just walking across the border” and Border Patrol agents “are not empowered to stop them.”

“All they’re doing is processing them once they … walk across the border,” he told the publication.

The Epoch Times has reached out to San Diego Border Patrol for further comment.

Mr. Desmond’s comments come after he and other San Diego County leaders called on the state and federal governments to bolster security at the border and remove sanctuary city policies amid the ongoing immigration crisis.

Speaking at a press conference alongside several mayors on April 15 near Carlsbad State Beach, Mr. Desmond said more than 125,000 illegal immigrants have entered since September, of which more than 25,000 had been released onto the streets in the past two months.

The county official stressed those figures did not include known “gotaways,” those known to have entered the country illegally while evading Border Patrol.

He further blamed California’s sanctuary city policies for prohibiting law enforcement agencies from working with Immigration Customs and Enforcement to hand over illegal immigrants, even if they are identified as suspects in crimes other than entering the United States illegally.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, on April 17, 2024. (Travis Gillmore/The Epoch Times)

Newsom Praises Biden’s Border Efforts

Mr. Desmond criticized the state for providing “free health care to illegal immigrants,” along with “free legal defense to those here illegally seeking asylum … no matter what crime they commit.”

He and other Republican county officials, including Carlsbad Mayor Keith Blackburn, Vista Mayor John Franklin, and San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, called upon the state of California and the federal government to do more to address the influx of illegal immigrants while calling for harsher penalties on human smugglers.

“We need to make major changes for the safety of our people, the safety of all of San Diego County,” Mr. Desmond said. “We need the state and federal officials to bring more resources, whether it’s more Coast Guard or National Guard … We’ve got to come together and allow law enforcement to communicate with ICE. We need to be able to deport criminals out of the country.”

In contrast, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has defended the state’s response to the ongoing immigration crisis while praising the Biden administration for providing millions in federal grants to address the issue.

“Let’s be clear: President Biden is doing all he can to fund border security and humanitarian efforts while Republicans in Congress are choosing border chaos for political gain,” he said in an April 12 statement.

The Democrat went on to accuse congressional Republicans of trying to “undermine opportunities to advance border security” and modernize the immigration system for political gain.

“The Newsom Administration is working in partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration and California Congressional leaders, along with state and local officials, to advocate for federal funding for communities as they support the federal government with a safe and orderly process, further enhancing border security,” the governor said.


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