HomeNationalThe California system is overwhelmed by migrants and homeless: "Everything is already...

The California system is overwhelmed by migrants and homeless: “Everything is already full…”

A recent report shows that encounters with migrants at the Texas border are significantly down, while the surge continues to overwhelm California’s southern cities and areas. For months now, a growing number of migrants have avoided Texas border sectors due to increased border security, which is part of Operation Lone Star, a state-led initiative by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Migrants now choose to cross the border in Arizona and California, a trend that has had a had a significant impact on border cities, towns, and areas, especially in the Golden State.

The numbers

California’s illegal immigration numbers have risen for three consecutive years, from approximately 260,000 in fiscal year 2021 to 362,000 and 450,000 in fiscal years 2022 and 2023, respectively, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. Numbers this current fiscal year have exceeded 253,200 in a five-month period between October and February, with numbers in February increasing by about 6,000 after an 11,000-migrant decrease from December to January.

Funding

The State of California is about to cut spending this year as the state faces a huge budget deficit that could reach more than $70 billion. According to the most recent reports, California officials are about to cut spending on public transportation projects, education, and other programs, while funding aimed at helping and supporting illegal immigrants will remain untouched. However, this initial plan brought by Democratic lawmakers is yet to be officially confirmed, as southern cities are seeking more financial help from the state and federal governments.

Calls for help

California has seen a rise in the number of migrants arriving, including significant numbers from Chinese, Haitian, and Indian communities. Reports from local hospitals indicate that injuries among migrants at the southern border wall are at unprecedented levels. In a recent incident in late March, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detained a suspected Chinese national who entered the 29 Palms Marine Base in the El Centro Sector of California without authorization. Bill Wells, the Mayor of El Cajon, a California border city, said that local officials expect “the system to be overwhelmed to the point where there’s not going to be enough money to send people everywhere they want to go.”

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“Everything is already full because of the migrants and the homeless people that have flocked to California in the past couple of years,” Wells said about the homeless shelters to FOX NEWS. “So there’s very little in the way of safety net in California.”

California has seen a rise in the number of migrants arriving, including significant numbers from Chinese, Haitian, and Indian communities
Jim Desmond, credit: supervisorjimdesmond.com

More migrants expected

Furthermore, San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond reported that over 24,000 migrants have been released onto San Diego’s streets since late February, with the total reaching more than 120,000 in the past six months. While attempting to confirm these figures, U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not release the numbers to the media. Nevertheless, Desmond stands by his claims and anticipates that San Diego will continue to face challenges with more migrants expected to arrive in the near future.

“The federal government is giving us no assistance,” said Desmond as reported by FOX5. “They’re just dropping them off in our streets, we’re at their whim.”

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Local leaders spend millions to solve a federal problem

“This is by far the most chaotic we have ever seen the border,” Desmond told Newsweek via email on Monday. “We used to have a few street releases a year, but now we get 500 to 800 a day, and it’s been happening since September. One of the biggest messages I want to get out is that this affects our entire country. About 90 percent of those dropped in San Diego leave within 24 hours and go somewhere else in the country. So, we have thousands of people coming into our country, unvetted, with no real way to keep track of them. This should concern everyone.”

San Diego County allocated $6 million to a migrant resource center, a decision Supervisor Jim Desmond opposed, arguing it was inappropriate to use local tax dollars for what he considered a federal issue. Despite his objections, the funding was approved but was depleted within four months. Desmond mentioned that his colleagues now share his view that no further local funds should be spent on this matter.

California has seen a rise in the number of migrants arriving, including significant numbers from Chinese, Haitian, and Indian communities
Migrants at the California border, credit: Public Policy Institute of California

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A record year is on track

In terms of border security, the San Diego sector saw a significant increase in migrant encounters, with an 85 percent rise in February compared to the same month last year, as reported by Fox News using CBP data. During the fiscal year 2023, agents recorded over 230,000 encounters, setting a record that is likely to be surpassed in 2024.

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