Increase in illegal immigrants coming to California by sea
May 7, 2010
Human smuggling off the coast of California is on the increase and officials worry that increased security measures on land will lead to more attempts by people to enter the country illegally — by sea. [California Watch]
An additional concern is that human smuggling, though still relatively small in numbers, is becoming intertwined with dangerous drug smuggling.
Illegal immigrants trying to get into California have typically landed at Imperial Beach, right above the U.S.-Mexico border. However, the smuggling attempts continue to move north, as far as Torrey Pines State Reserve.
In fiscal year 2008-2009, 430 people were arrested for attempting to come into California by sea, nearly twice the number caught the previous year.
Last month, the Border Patrol apprehended a boat off San Onofre State Beach carrying 23 suspected illegal immigrants, the sixth ocean smuggling attempt in six days.
Experts say the increased attempts by sea are in response to tough restrictions placed on the border in San Diego.