Addressing Illegal Immigration and Maritime Smuggling

Addressing Illegal Immigration and Maritime Smuggling

Last week, I stood alongside the Mayors of Carlsbad, Vista, and San Marcos and the Deputy Mayor of Oceanside to address a pressing concern that affects us all: illegal immigration and maritime smuggling.

Just this past Saturday, another incident unfolded as a boat raced into our shoreline, endangering surfers, swimmers, and our community. Ten individuals disembarked, fled into a Carlsbad neighborhood, and were whisked away in an SUV. What's deeply troubling is that we do not know who these individuals are, where they originate from, or their current whereabouts.

Since 2020, maritime human smuggling events like this have surged by a staggering 139%. The implications of this trend are dire and demand immediate action.

Last week, the San Diego Border sector witnessed an alarming spike in encounters, topping the country with 6,997 incidents. Since September, we've had over 125,000 migrants dropped in San Diego, which doesn't include those coming upon our shore. This surge in illegal border crossings, coupled with FBI Director Christopher Wray's recent warning of terrorist threats, underscores the urgency of the situation.

Furthermore, our current policies exacerbate the problem. California offers free healthcare to illegal immigrants, the County of San Diego provides free legal defense irrespective of the crimes committed, and our status as a Sanctuary State impedes law enforcement's ability to collaborate with ICE.

Even if law enforcement were able to respond swiftly to such incidents, state law prohibits them from coordinating with ICE for deportation purposes. This glaring loophole in our system only exacerbates the risks to public safety.

The gravity of the situation cannot be overstated. Other states have taken significant steps to secure their borders, leaving California vulnerable as the path of least resistance. We must address this issue head-on.
We urgently call upon the State of California and the Federal Government to take decisive action. We need harsher penalties for human smugglers, increased resources such as additional Coast Guard and National Guard presence, and the reinstatement of communication channels between law enforcement and ICE.

This is not a complex issue; it's a matter of safeguarding our communities and upholding the rule of law. We cannot afford to wait for a tragedy to strike before we take meaningful action. The time to act is now.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter. Together, we can ensure the safety and security of our neighborhoods and our nation.

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