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San Diego Sector Border Patrol sees 100,000+ migrants in six months

Groups of migrants have been waiting at the border near San Ysidro in recent weeks.
Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 20, 2023

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) — U.S. Border Patrol's San Diego Sector (SDC) is expecting this to be the busiest year the border has ever seen.

Between October 1, 2022, and April 4, 2023, the agency says it encountered 109,274 people making "illegal entry" into the U.S. between the designated ports of entry.

The majority of recent migrants are not coming from Mexico. Instead, Border Patrol says nearly 60% were from roughly 150 other countries. More than 70% of migrants over the course of the six months were single adults, not families and children.

“We’re all humans so it takes a toll on agents. We see different people who are fleeing, be it war in their country or they're looking to make a better life for their family," said Eric Lavergne, a Special Operations Supervisor for the SDC.

On Thursday morning, 61 migrants from 11 different countries crossed into the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station area of responsibility

On top of an influx of migrants from distant countries, the SDC is expecting to surpass its record for pounds of fentanyl seized at the border. Lavergne says smuggling is not typically associated with migrants coming from distant countries.

So far this fiscal year, agents have seized 817 pounds of fentanyl. It has seized even more in methamphetamine and cocaine.

The record was set last fiscal year when the sector accounted for 1,052 pounds of fentanyl overall.

“We talk to people here within our own city, they don’t realize that they sit right on the border, one of the busiest barriers along the border actually," said Lavergne.

The most recent data was released just weeks away from Title 24 being lifted: The policy implemented during the pandemic that allows the government to prevent the introduction of individuals during certain public health emergencies.

However, immigration advocates have long disagreed with the policy.

"We have been using COVID–19 as an excuse to violate human rights, right? By closing asylum," said Lilian Serrano, Director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

Title 42 is expected to end on May 11.