‘Pretty scary’: Local leaders respond to chaos of San Diego area beaches being rushed by illegal migrants

California’s lax laws left locals in a “pretty scary” situation as suspected surf smugglers were spotted offloading illegal aliens.

Mounting safety concerns around the shores of the San Diego area were met with a stunning visual reminder of the current administration’s failure to secure the border Saturday. Video taken from the beach in Carlsbad, California, less than an hour north of the city, featured nearly two dozen people hightailing across the shore after a hasty speedboat landing.

“We have no idea who they are, we have no idea where they are, and these people were not vetted at all,” said San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond at a press conference Monday after video of the incident went viral.

Further along in the clip, roughly 10 of the witnessed 22 people who ran inland were seen getting into an SUV that appeared to have been waiting for their arrival.

Warning: Language

“We need harsher penalties on human smugglers. We need state and federal officials to bring more resources, whether it’s more Coast Guard or National Guard,” contended Desmond who had told Fox News of the situation, “Quite frankly, it’s pretty scary I would think, for the people living right along the coast.”

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), from 2020 to 2023 there had been a 139% increase in maritime smuggling in the Golden State, an uptick that amounted to almost 740 reported incidents in 2023.

“My real concern is human trafficking,” Carlsbad Mayor Keith Blackburn told CBS8. “What are they bringing with them? What drugs, weapons, and who’s on the terror watch list who’s coming in via boats?”

To Desmond’s point about the need for greater resources, as it currently stood, California’s Senate Bill 54, passed in 2017, had hamstrung local law enforcement from endeavoring to manage the crisis as it prohibited their working with federal agencies toward maintaining national sovereignty.

“The chaos at the border and the fact that many of these crossers know there’ll be no consequence here encourages this, and it makes our cities less safe,” lamented Oceanside Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim during the press conference. “The fact that many people have come here is primarily because we put out the red carpet.”

Though appearing to leverage the legislation against the GOP for their refusal to budge on the Senate’s so-called “bipartisan” border deal, promoted by President Joe Biden, that would have allowed up to 5,000 illegal aliens to enter the United States daily, California Rep. Mike Levin (D) acknowledged that a bill introduced by Republicans had already been introduced that would expand the reach of the U.S. Customs Waters Act — H.R. 529.

“Recent incidents of unidentified vessels landing onshore in our district have underscored the urgency of bringing H.R. 529 to the House floor for a vote,” Levin said in a statement encouraging House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to advance the legislation. “This bill would double the range in which Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents can operate to address migrants and other vessels arriving by water along our coast. It would extend U.S. customs water from 12 to 24 nautical miles, providing CBP with additional support to accomplish its duties, including interdicting drugs and addressing issues with migration, effectively and efficiently.”

Kevin Haggerty

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