SAN DIEGO – Border crossings in the San Diego sector are on the rise, up by over 30% from last April with just over 100,000 illegal encounters made in the past six months. This comes as the end of the Title 42 approaches next month.
“We’ve seen an increase over the course of the last couple of years but this year up to date, we’re at 109,274 apprehensions,” shared Agent Angel Moreno with the U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector. These stats follow a recent slew of African and Middle Eastern migrants amassing near San Ysidro just last week.
According to Customs and Border Protection, nearly 60% encountered in the San Diego Sector were from countries other than Mexico, with single adults making up 77% of these encounters reaching 84,620 individuals.
The uptick comes as Border Patrol Agents stress limited manpower; an obstacle agents tell us they’re working to address.
“As an organization, we try to help each other out as much as we can so we try to shift some of those apprehensions to each station so that every agent is contributing to that regard,” Moreno said.
Pedro Rios spends his career advocating for migrants. He says limited resources and border security policies initiated by the Biden Administration are to blame. With Title 42 on its last leg, Rios expects to see a continued surge in migrant crossings. “…The Biden Administration is wanting to put in place measures that are also anti-asylum measures that would force people to be expelled or deported in a much more aggressive way, which violates the basic right to asylum,” explained Rios, Director of the American Transervice Committee of San Diego.
Meanwhile, Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas touted Biden’s border security plans, stressing progress at the Southern Border.
“In respect to individuals relating to Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, there has been a 95% drop in the number of encounters from those four countries at our southern border,” Mayorkas said.
It’s not just migrant encounters, agents have also seized over 800 pounds of fentanyl locally, on track to surpass last year’s total record of over 1000 pounds, something accounting for a vast chunk of seizures nationwide.
“60% of the fentanyl that is seized nationally in the U.S. is seized here in the San Diego Sector. A lot of it does come through the port of entry but again our agents are trying to interdict that through highway interdiction efforts, check point operations, and through a number of different functions, which is why it’s important for our agents to be out there patrolling,” Moreno said.
Border Patrol agents locally have been also responsible for the seizure of 1,123 pounds of methamphetamine, 824 pounds of cocaine and 57 pounds of heroin, according to a CBP press release.