The wall near Tijuana and San Diego
The border wall near San Diego Bulla

Border Patrol authorities said San Diego continues to see a large increase in unlawful border crossings in May, as the county becomes a main route amid migratory shifts in the U.S.

Concretely, Chief Patrol Agent Patricia McGurk-Daniel said agents apprehended over 8,300 migrants from 66 countries in the first week of the month, a higher rate than April's 37,000 encounters. Figures provided by the officials also include 153 unaccompanied minors, 23 rescues and 27 human smuggling events interdicted.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond said agents are overwhelmed, according to Border Report. "One of the other things we are seeing in San Diego County is boat landings, boats just being beached up on our beaches — about four per week, and about a dozen people jump into a neighborhood. We don't know who they are, where they are going or what their intentions are."

Desmond was also critical of funds being used in a drop-off site that was "open for four months" and closed in February after not receiving additional funds from the county. "Border Patrol was Uber for the migrants; we became the travel agents," Desmond said, considering the NGO that operated the site used some of the funds to buy airline tickets to help migrants get to their final destinations.

"We should be securing or at least allowing our Border Patrol agents resources so they can properly vet people," he said. "I think that money should be spent on the vetting of people and securing our beaches so we don't have boats just dropping off."

The increased encounters comes as California and Arizona become immigration hotspots as smugglers turn away from Texas and seek paths of less resistance following an increased crackdown by the Greg Abbott administration.

San Diego is currently seeing the largest amount of apprehensions (something that hadn't happened since the 1990s) but Arizona still leads the country in the area this fiscal year.

As mentioned, San Diego recorded over 37,000 encounters in April, but its tally amounts to about 222,000 in fiscal year 2024 (which started in October), 150,000 fewer than Tucson, Arizona. Texas' Del Rio came in third with just under 205,000, while El Paso was fourth with 180,738, according to figures provided by NewsNation.

However, migration to the U.S. has decreased at a general level over the past month, something that has been mostly attributed to actions by the Mexican government, rather than Texas.

At the request of the U.S., the country is using military patrols and highway checkpoints, intercepting roughly 8,000 U.S.-bound migrants per day, according to officials from both countries.

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