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California local official blames Border Patrol for being immigrants’ Uber: “We just can’t sustain it!”

Unlike Texas, which managed to increase border security and lower the number of illegal immigrants after enforcing various measures as part of Operation Lone Star, California experiences an influx of migrants arriving at the border, and this trend isn’t expected to end anytime soon. The growing number of migrants entering the state pushes southern California cities and areas on the brink of bankruptcy as local leaders continue to seek state and federal financial help so they can keep providing essential services to migrants.

The system is overwhelmed

According to recent data provided by local officials, a total of more than 120,000 migrants have been released onto San Diego’s streets in the last six months, with 24,000 migrants only from late February to the beginning of April. A lack of funding forced cities in the southern part of the state to close a migrant shelter a few months ago, while all other facilities, including hospitals, are heavily overwhelmed and operating above their capacity to handle the influx of injured migrants who fell off the border wall in an attempt to enter the country illegally.

Record number of migrants

According to Fox News, citing Customs and Border Protection data, CPB agents recorded over 230,000 encounters in 2023, which is the highest number on record. However, since migrants now choose California as their entry point instead of Texas, the state has experienced an increase in migrant encounters in the last few months. In February alone, there has been an 85 percent rise in migrant encounters compared to the same month last year, and experts believe that last year’s record is likely to be surpassed in 2024.

Record high-number of encounters

In a striking surge, San Diego reported nearly 7,000 migrant encounters in just the first week of April, signaling a deepening crisis at the border. This figure, which is about as high as what other areas usually see in a whole month, only counts those who were detected, suggesting the actual number might be even higher. The San Diego sector, covering most of Southern California’s border with Mexico, except for El Centro and Calexico, has recently recorded between 6,000 and 8,000 migrant crossings each week.

Local official says San Diego can't sustain the number of migrants, blames CPB for being migrants' UBER, dropping migrants in the city
Migrants in California, credit: Jim Desmond

Beating even the busiest sector

The significance of these numbers from April 3-9 is underscored by the fact that they were the highest in the country, surpassing even the Tucson sector in Arizona, which saw 6,600 encounters despite having peaks of up to 11,000. The Border Patrol organizes the border into different ‘sectors’. Recent data shows San Diego as the third busiest sector, a ranking that might be on the rise. Since July 2023, Tucson has topped the list for migrant arrivals, though its numbers have begun to decline.

Local leaders blame state, federal governments

“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised,” San Diego County Commissioner Jim Desmond told Daily Mail last week. “Texas is clamping down and other areas are clamping down. “Here in California, they’re allowed to walk in unimpeded. They’re going to follow the path of least resistance, and the least resistance is in California,” he added.

Local official says San Diego can't sustain the number of migrants, blames CPB for being migrants' UBER, dropping migrants in the city
Migrants in California, credit: Jim Desmond

Southern cities no longer provide funds for shelters

As the number of migrants entering Southern California increases, those vetted by US Border Patrol are being released into the community. This comes after the local migrant shelter was closed a few months ago due to local leaders deciding against spending $18 million annually to maintain it. With no shelter available, migrants are now being dropped off at transit stations or airports by federal authorities.

“It was costing us, at that point in time, about $1.5 million a month to basically be their travel agent. Border Patrol was their Uber, bringing them to those drop off areas, and then we were their travel agent.  “We just can’t sustain it; we can’t manage the numbers that are coming here,” he added.

Local official says San Diego can't sustain the number of migrants, blames CPB for being migrants' UBER, dropping migrants in the city
Credit: US Border Patrol, FB

Actual numbers are much worse

The official weekly statistics do not reflect the entire scope of migrant entries. They exclude those who entered the US legally through CBP One Appointments at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which connects Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego, California. Additionally, these official counts do not include so-called ‘got-aways’, which are migrants known to have entered the country but were not captured, though their precise numbers remain undisclosed.

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