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San Diego County asking Biden administration for help amid migrant surge

About 500 troops from Camp Pendleton being deployed to border
Migrants in San Diego
Posted at 6:47 PM, May 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-10 22:31:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is asking the Biden administration for more resources as the number of migrants grows each day at the border.

"We need to be able to increase the migrant shelter capacity that's our message to the federal government,” said Chairwoman Nora Vargas Wednesday afternoon.

Vargas called the situation at the border a “humanitarian crisis.”

She said officials are trying to avoid having migrants released onto San Diego streets, which she said happened just three months ago before the current surge started.

On Wednesday, hundreds of migrants could be seen along the border. One who came from Colombia told 10News reporter Austin Grabish he had been waiting since Friday.

One of hundreds of migrants waits behind the wall on Wednesday for border patrol. In the last several days border patrol has been picking up women and children first for asylum processing while men often wait.

Supervisor Jim Desmond said he is concerned Border Patrol is going to be overwhelmed and drop off migrants at transit centers around San Diego County after Title 42 ends on Thursday night.

“Last time, we only had about a two-hour warning from Border Patrol of when a bus load was going to be coming to a specific site.”

Title 42 is the Trump-era policy that allowed border agents to turn away nearly three million asylum seekers due to the COVID emergency.

Immigration attorneys say migrants are being misled to think it’ll be easier to get asylum when the policy sunsets. Instead, some say depending on an individual’s circumstances, it could get even harder.

Across the border in Tijuana, some 14,000 migrants are waiting to come over into the United States, said Enrique Lucero, director of migrant services for the city.

"This is a big challenge for Tijuana right now."

Lucero said migrants are using ladders to jump the American border wall in numbers he’s never seen before.

He said many migrants have been misinformed on TikTok and Facebook videos that now is the time to come to America.

About 500 troops from Camp Pendleton are being deployed to the U.S. Southwest border to help border patrol handle the surge of migrants.

The troops will help with data entry, warehousing support, and additional detection and monitoring support efforts as part of a joint task force, a Marine Corps spokesperson said.