San Diego Supervisor: 125,000 Migrants Released ‘Without Proper Vetting’

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
April 10, 2024US News
San Diego Supervisor: 125,000 Migrants Released ‘Without Proper Vetting’
Immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S., who are stuck in a makeshift camp amongst the border walls between the U.S. and Mexico, look through the border wall on May 13, 2023 in San Diego, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

At least 125,000 illegal immigrants have been released from detention “without proper vetting” into San Diego over the last seven months, a county supervisor said.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond told The New York Post that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents are “completely overwhelmed” by the incessant stream of migrants arriving at the border.

“Over 125,000 migrants have been dropped in San Diego County since September 2023,” Mr. Desmond said.

“That’s just the minimum we know about and doesn’t include families, boat arrivals, or elderly people who are processed differently,” he said.

“The numbers have gone through the roof.”

Gaps in the border wall and a lack of border security resources are allowing illegal immigrants to walk into the United States unimpeded. “No one is stopping them,” he said.

Not only does the CBP lack the personnel to secure the border, the agency also has neither the time nor the resources to properly vet or accommodate those who cross the border illegally. According to Mr. Desmond, many are being released prematurely.

“Most people are released from detention within 24-48 hours,” he said.

“This isn’t just a local issue; it’s a national issue, as most people are going elsewhere in the country,” he wrote on X.

Asylum seekers wait to be processed by Border Patrol agents at a makeshift camp near the U.S.–Mexico border east of Jacumba in San Diego County, Calif., on Jan. 2, 2024. (Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr. Desmond said there is only one migrant center in his area paid for by the federal government, but it is unable to hold the majority of those who arrive, causing many migrants to “loiter” around San Diego.

“San Diego Airport now has become the de facto migrant shelter, where they sleep,” Mr. Desmond said, and some are being dropped off at a transit center that doesn’t have bathrooms or facilities.

“People’s needs aren’t being met,” he said. “It needs to be a humane process.”

Local media reported that some migrants were seen relieving themselves in parking lots and the streets.

A record number of 230,000 “migrant encounters” were recorded in the San Diego sector during the fiscal year 2023, with numbers for 2024 increasing—CBP recorded an 85 percent increase in encounters in February.

NTD Photo
Federal law enforcement agents and officers keep watch as immigrants line up to be transported from a makeshift camp between border walls between the U.S. and Mexico in San Diego, Calif., on May 13, 2023. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Increasing Numbers of Potential Terrorists

When a migrant is seeking asylum, current protocols are that the person is to be detained until it is determined whether the asylum claim is legitimate and whether or not they pose a threat to the United States and its citizens.

“We’re not doing that now,” Mr. Desmond warned.

“There are people who should be on terror watch lists and we’re missing lots of them,” he said.

“I don’t blame the agents. I blame the Biden administration and Homeland Security for not enforcing our laws.”

CBP has caught record numbers of illegal immigrants listed on terror watch lists in recent years as they attempted to enter the United States—both at the southern and northern borders.

The number of potential terrorists caught crossing the border between ports of entry quadrupled from fiscal year 2021 to FY22—from 16 to 98 individuals. That number nearly doubled in 2023, rising to 172. Between the start of FY24—that is, October 2023—and February, U.S. Border Patrol has already apprehended no less than 70 potential terror suspects—one at the Canadian border and the rest at the Mexican border.

The number of potential terrorists apprehended at points of entry has also dramatically risen, albeit less exponentially: 157 in FY21, 380 in FY22, 564 in FY23, and 140 and counting in 2024. Most of those caught at points of entry have been caught at the Canadian border, 484 in 2023, compared to 80 at southern points of entry in the same year.

NTD Photo
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) holds a poster with photos of murder victims Sarah Root and Laken Riley as she speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 27, 2024. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo)

Criminals and Apathy

Besides terrorism, there are other risks to be taken into account when allowing illegal immigrants into the country, Mr. Desmond explained.

“We have already seen the preventable tragedy of Laken Riley,” he said, referring to the 22-year-old Augusta University student who was killed while jogging near her campus in February.

The man charged with her murder was found to have ties with Tren de Aragua, the largest criminal organization in Venezuela. He’d been arrested for illegally crossing into the United States in September 2022 in the company of his girlfriend and her 5-year-old son. However, after less than 24 hours in custody, he was released on parole due to lack of detention capacity, The Post reported and allowed to remain in the United States until October 2024.

President Joe Biden addressed the issue briefly during his State of the Union address, bungling the unfortunate girl’s name in the process.

“Lincoln—Lincoln Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That’s right. But how many thousands of people are being killed by illegals?” the president said, shrugging off her death as a mere triviality.

Nearly 7.3 million illegal immigrants are known to have crossed the border under the current administration—a number greater than the population of 36 individual states.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.