US

Illegal Aliens, Including Chinese Nationals, Arrested After Landing on California Beach

By Zachary Stieber

Seven illegal aliens were apprehended on Nov. 29 after landing on a beach in California on a small boat.

Video footage showed 13 people leaping from the boat and running away, trying to escape detection.

After a search, authorities said at least seven had been caught, along with two smugglers.

Customs and Border Protection said that four of the men apprehended were Mexican nationals and three were Chinese nationals. The other two who were apprehended were the smugglers, Border Patrol agent Vincent Pirro told the Orange County Register.

One of them was a United States citizen and one was on a non-immigrant visa but had overstayed the visa.

The Laguna Beach Police Department had at least four vehicles at the scene, with officers assisted by Border Patrol agents, Laguna Beach Fire officials, and lifeguards.

aliens apprehended in laguna
Laguna Beach Police Department officers, with assistance from other law enforcement, apprehended seven illegal aliens and two smugglers after they landed on a boat at the beach on Nov. 29, 2018. (Laguna Beach Police Department)

The boat landing was reported to the Laguna Beach Police Department at 7 a.m. by residents who witnessed the landing.

“They saw two men running for the cliffs,” said Jordan Villwock, emergency-operations coordinator for the city. “Officers were on scene in five minutes and immediately detained the two men who had ditched their life vests on the sand.”

The number of gas cans on the boat indicated that the boat came a long way, Pirro said.

“We see them leave from Ensenada a lot. They go around the Coronado Islands and north. They’ve gone as far as Half Moon Bay,” he said, noting a ticket on such a boat can run from $13,000 to $17,000.

One of the aliens told authorities the boat originated in Baja California, reported NBC. One of the men said he’d been on board for at least 10 hours. Officials said there was no connection with the migrant caravan currently in Tijuana and Mexicali in Baja.

The police said that the two smugglers were waiting for the panga boat passengers in so-called “take-away” vehicles. It’s not clear if the illegal aliens who weren’t caught hopped in a third vehicle or if they fled on foot.

aliens apprehended in laguna 2
Laguna Beach Police Department officers, with assistance from other law enforcement, apprehended seven illegal aliens and two smugglers after they landed on a boat at the beach on Nov. 29, 2018. (Laguna Beach Police Department)

Hundreds of People Land

During the fiscal year between Nov. 1, 2017, and Oct. 31, 2018, 433 people were arrested trying to illegally enter the San Diego Border Patrol sector.

California and Florida regularly deal with illegal boat landings. On Oct. 7, for instance, a wooden boat carrying dozens of illegal aliens landed near Miami.

Authorities arrested 15 but some got away.

The last incident before that involving Cuban immigrants happened in July, according to a search of Border Patrol press releases.

In a July release, the office said the U.S. Coast Guard, in conjunction with the Border Patrol and other agencies, intercepted a “rustic vessel” with 28 Cubans, and repatriated them to Cuba.

“U.S. immigration policies have not changed and we urge people not to take to the ocean in unseaworthy vessels,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, the chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard’s 7th District, in a statement.