California Beaches See Surge In Illegal Migrant Crossings

California’s beaches are experiencing an increase in illegal migrant crossings as more individuals attempt to enter the U.S. by boat. According to data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the number of successful and failed boat entries in California has risen from 308 in fiscal year 2020 to 736 in fiscal year 2023.

The majority of these migrants arrive through the San Diego area but many have also made their way north to Santa Barbara County. San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond expressed concern over the lack of information about these individuals stating, “They’re ghosts.”

Federal agents have made over 220,000 arrests in the San Diego area since Oct. 1 and nearly 8,000 for illegal entry into the U.S. by sea since 2020. Rafael Fernandez de Castro, director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, suggested that most migrants smuggled in by boat are likely Mexicans with previous deportations or criminal histories.

Some of the boat smuggling attempts have been captured on video and shared on social media showing migrants fleeing to awaiting vehicles. Independent journalist Britt Mayer, who covers the issue in the San Diego area, noted that the migrants seem increasingly unconcerned about being seen.