Point Loma

CBP: Border Crossings on the Rise as 3 Pangas Intercepted Off San Diego Coast

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The search for a better life is seen almost daily at our border and U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the number of undocumented immigrants trying to cross the border has spiked.

According to the Border Patrol, an average of 450 people a day try to enter the U.S. through the border between Mexico and California either by land or sea.

In contrast, before the coronavirus pandemic, fewer than 150 border crossing attempts were recorded daily, according to CBP figures. And now, there are entire families making this journey.

"Sometimes they arrive with only a phone number on their arm, a piece of paper, and a jacket," said Alfonso Martinez, deputy chief of the Border Patrol in San Diego.

Images of these apprehensions have become very common along the 60 miles of land border and 931 miles on the san Diego County maritime border, where according to the Border Patrol, between October 2021 and March 2022 a total of 2,082 unaccompanied children were reported, when before the pandemic that number did not reach 1,000.

"That self-separation involves sending the child just so they can be joined with a family member in the United States," says Pedro Rios, director of the border program Comité de Amigos.

Because under Title 42, minors are not being expelled, but in addition to children, entire families are now more prevalent here.

"Yesterday, we had a group, a family with a 10-month-old baby who were abandoned by their 'coyote' in the Otay Mountains," Martinez said.

Desperation for a dignified life which human traffickers take advantage of.

Monday night in Point Loma, border patrol agents and the Air and Marine Operations detected three separate pangas in the ocean carrying 72 immigrants of Mexican origin, a very unusual incident, according to Agent Martinez, who says the migrants have become baits.

All migrants were taken into custody by USBP and taken to nearby Border Patrol stations to be processed.

"We have seen that smugglers are bringing in larger groups and putting them in more remote and dangerous areas," Martinez continued.

In general, the traffic of undocumented immigrants on the southwest border has increased by 104% since before the pandemic, according to border patrol figures, the largest maritime increase with 80%, and as happened on March 28 in Imperial Beach use jet skis and surfboards, something that is not new but if seen much more frequently.

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