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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    As border infrastructure on land improves, smugglers take to the water

    An endless fight: as border infrastructure on land improves, smugglers take to the water



    Six people were arrested early Wednesday morning after a suspected smuggling boat was beached on San Diego’s Black’s Beach. The migrants tried to escape by climbing the cliffs near Torrey Pines, according to San Diego lifeguards and Border Patrol.

    (Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)


    Maritime smuggling attempts increase 60 percent between fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019.

    By WENDY FRY
    NOV. 6, 2019 6:27 PM

    SAN DIEGO — Human and drug smugglers are increasingly turning to the Pacific Ocean to get into the United States while the Trump administration tightens border infrastructure on land with the president’s signature border wall.

    The federal government has invested $10 billion so far in improving the land infrastructure — or building the wall — along the 1,993 miles of U.S.-Mexico border. In September, Trump visited Otay Mesa to praise the completion of $147-million border wall replacement project stretching 14 miles between the Pacific Ocean and Otay Mountain.


    But San Diego-area border agents are noting a recent sharp increase in the number of smuggling attempts through the Pacific Ocean.


    In fiscal year 2020, which began on October 1, there have been 35 maritime smuggling attempts locally, along with 163 arrests and 848 pounds of contraband seized in U.S. waters, according to Ralph DeSio, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


    “As the border has become more secure through the utilization of the right combination of personnel, technology and infrastructure, transnational criminal organizations have attempted to circumvent this security by smuggling in the maritime environment,” DeSio said.

    If the current rate continues through this fiscal year, smugglers are on pace to nearly double the number of waterway smuggling attempts made in fiscal year 2019. (In fiscal year 2019, there were 194 maritime smuggling incidents in the San Diego area.)


    Border experts cautioned the latest numbers for only the first month of fiscal year 2020 may be partially skewed by seasonal shifts in northbound migration.


    CBP data shows a 60 percent increase in maritime smuggling events between fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019.



    Six people were arrested early Wednesday morning after a suspected smuggling boat ended up on the sand at San Diego’s Black’s Beach. One man was hospitalized after he took “a tumbling fall,” while trying to get away from Border Patrol agents. The migrants tried to escape by climbing the cliffs near Torrey Pines, according to San Diego lifeguards and Border Patrol.

    Agents continued looking for four others who were also seen getting out of the panga, officials said.

    A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said all the subjects were male Mexican nationals who entered the U.S. illegally through the water.

    Two of the men were identified as the vessel operators and will be charged with alien smuggling, the spokesman said.


    Border officials said even though the new barrier fencing on land has “significantly increased security and deterrence” along sections of the border in CBP’s San Diego and El Centro sectors, Mexican smuggling gangs will always look for ways to continue smuggling drugs and people into the United States, even when it means taking more difficult, dangerous and costly routes.


    “They’re highly adaptable,” said Homeland Security Investigation’s Chris Davis. Davis oversees maritime investigations, as an assistant special agent in charge for HSI, an investigative arm for the Department of Homeland Security. He said human smuggling is an especially lucrative business for Mexico’s criminal cartels.


    With a seemingly infinite supply of money and resources, Mexican criminal organizations generate billions of dollars in smuggling profits per year, giving them an immense incentive to adapt to new border enforcement techniques and barriers.


    A CBP spokesman said maritime smuggling is more dangerous, and regulating it is more challenging with some routes stretching as far as Oceanside, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In the San Diego area, border agents patrol the water in an area as large as the state of Connecticut, but with very few visual landmarks.


    “Transnational criminal organizations have no regard for the lives of the people they smuggle, and this tactic of using the ocean is extremely dangerous,” DeSio said. “Unpredictable sea and surf conditions, visibility, and weather are not important considerations to smugglers. They put an emphasis on profits over their victim’s safety by placing them in unpredictable and unsafe conditions.”


    DeSio said when smugglers change their tactics, so do border agents.
    Last week, agents began monitoring a boating dock near Laurel Street and North Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego, after smugglers were captured on video using the same dock weeks earlier. The operation led to the arrest of 11 Mexican nationals on Sunday, including the smuggler, a 27-year-old Mexican man, who will be held in federal custody pending alien smuggling charges, according to CBP.

    Linda Dere, HSI’s deputy special agent in charge in San Diego, worked at the border early in her career and has seen trends come and go. She said maritime smuggling has always been one route for criminals to illegally bring drugs and people into the United States, but border agencies have gotten better in recent years about notifying the public about such incidents.


    Still, she agreed that criminal smuggling organizations shifting their tactics quickly based on changing conditions and law enforcement techniques.


    “They’re smart. They’re nimble. They’re going to adjust their ways to try to make up for what law enforcement is doing,” Dere said.


    Dere said border law enforcement agencies can also adapt.


    “We’re looking at protecting our border and regulating our border, with all that is involved, infrastructure is one part of that, technology is another, technology in maritime use, such as sensors, that will help facilitate interdicting some of these vessels, and staffing for the law enforcement agencies, coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security, it’s all complementing each other,” she said.

    https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com...e-to-the-water
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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