California Mayor Cites Surge In Border Encounters As Evidence Of Federal Enforcement Failure

REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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Republican El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells cited a surge in border encounters as proof of federal enforcement failures, Newsweek reported.

Wells pointed out the concerning surge in border encounters within San Diego County, noting a major shift in migration patterns and federal border enforcement efforts. He stated that San Diego County experienced an unprecedented 37,370 border encounters in April, exceeding the figures in sectors like Tucson, El Paso, and Del Rio for the first time in over two decades. Wells expressed astonishment and concern over the escalating border encounter numbers, according to Newsweek.

“We’ve become the No. 1 sector in America for crossing the border,” Wells said, Newsweek reported. “It is completely beyond my comprehension that something like this could have happened in America. Look, there’s always been an immigration debate. We’ve been through amnesty. It’s always been a hot topic.”

Under Wells’ leadership, the region, which covers about 467 square miles including rural communities near the border, has experienced a dramatic increase in migrant activity. This surge is attributed to a perceived lack of federal enforcement and California’s welcoming policies as a sanctuary state, contrasting with the stricter measures of neighboring states, the outlet stated. (RELATED: Texas Charges 70 Additional Illegal Migrants For Allegedly Storming Border, National Guard: REPORT)

The local impact has been significant, with over 214,855 apprehensions recorded since Oct. 1. Wells, who is also running for U.S. Congress, criticized federal policies, attributing the vast majority of the current situation on national leadership.

“Ninety percent of it is federal policy, really the policy of the president,” said Wells, Newsweek reported. “But there’s also the added incentive that California is a sanctuary state, so we’re not pushing back like Texas and Arizona are pushing back. California isn’t doing that at all. So, as the cartels meet more resistance, more are inclined to come to California.”

Facing these challenges, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors recently approved plans for a transit center for migrants and asylum-seekers, directing $19 million in federal funds for comprehensive support for individuals released from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody, the outlet reported. Nonetheless, local officials, including County Supervisor Jim Desmond, persist in expressing strong opposition, arguing that the federal government’s lack of enforcement of immigration laws is worsening the crisis.

“It’s no surprise that San Diego leads in border encounters,” Desmond said, according to Newsweeek. “This is what happens when you roll out the red carpet and provide free healthcare, legal defense and incentives. This administration is not upholding the laws and is allowing millions to enter our country.”