North County San Diego Officials Call for Stricter Border Measures After Migrant Boat Incident

TOPSHOT - Migrants board a smuggler's boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, northern France on October 12, 2022, in a attempt to cross the English Channel. (Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)
Stock Image. (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:35 PM – Tuesday, April 16, 2024

In a now-viral online video, a motorboat filled with a group of people is seen speeding ashore at North Carlsbad City Beach on Saturday at approximately 11 a.m.


At least fifteen to twenty people, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), leaped out of the suspicious boat. In the video, the majority of them can also be seen running away and jumping into an SUV waiting for them on Carlsbad’s Garfield Street and Grand Avenue.

Upon arriving at the scene, CBP Air and Marine interdiction officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered the abandoned boat. It was confiscated by CBP Air and Marine Operations.

“Law enforcement is investigating the incident,” the CBP said.

The mayors of Carlsbad, San Marcos, and Oceanside’s deputy mayor joined forces after seeing the video and learning about earlier smuggling operations. They further demanded that the state and federal governments fortify the border.

“We need border security for the safety of our residents, and we need it now,” said Vista Mayor John Franklin during a Monday press conference.

“The chaos at the border, the fact that many of these crossers know there will be no consequences here encourages this and it makes our cities less safe,“ said Ryan Keim, Oceanside’s deputy mayor.

Carlsbad Mayor Keith Blackburn also chimed in, saying: “My real concern is human trafficking. What are they bringing in with them? Drugs, weapons, and who’s on the terror watch list that’s coming in via boats?”

State legislators are being urged by San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond to amend Senate Bill 54, which restricts local law enforcement’s cooperation with ICE and other immigration enforcement agencies.

“So even if those people were caught, let’s say the people that got off the boats and they were caught, maybe the car that they all got into got pulled over. The local police, sheriffs, and police departments could not hand them over to Customs and Border Patrol. That needs to stop. That needs to be fixed,” Desmond asserted.

Meanwhile, Lillian Serrano, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, claimed that the “deterrent tactics of the immigration system have been weaponized against migrants,” whom she says have few options for entering the country illegally.

“That makes it so complicated to access the ports of entry, and that pushes migrants to take very dangerous paths, whether that is crossing a desert, climbing a border wall, or trying to come in through the oceans,” Serrano said.

This is not the first time that a motorboat filled with illegal migrants waiting to be dropped off have been seen hitting California’s beaches. In November of 2023, federal authorities frantically attempted to find the more than two dozen suspected illegal foreigners who were in a boat when it washed up on a Malibu beach.

Call the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834 (Ext 1) if you have any information about this incident.

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