San Diego official says city is ‘new epicenter’ of border crisis

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A San Diego official on Thursday dubbed his city the “new epicenter” for the border crisis and criticized California for “inflicting this upon ourselves.”

“San Diego is the new epicenter for migrants and illegal immigration,” San Diego District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond posted on the social media platform X. “The surge in illegal crossings has propelled San Diego to the unfortunate position of leading all nine southern border sectors in April, a trend unseen since the 1990’s.”

Desmond said Wednesday that in just one day, Border Patrol agents apprehended 2,000 people who were illegally crossing the border, “including 206 Chinese nationals.” Since October, there have been nearly 215,000 apprehensions from 75 different countries, his post said.

“People are just walking across the border. Border Patrol agents are not empowered to stop them,” Desmond said in an interview with NewsNation. “All they’re doing is processing them once they … walk across the border.”

He also took issue with the uptick in migrants arriving to San Diego by boat, saying “at least” when migrants show up at the U.S.-Mexico border, they are fingerprinted and Border Patrol does “minimal vetting.”

“And what’s happening in California, we’re, you know, inflicting this upon ourselves. You know, we give … migrants free health care. We can even give them free legal advice, not advice, but we’ll pay for their attorneys if they’re deported,” Desmond said. “Local law enforcement is prohibited, prohibited from enforcing immigration law.”

The Hill has reached out to San Diego Border Patrol to confirm Desmond’s statistics and for further comment.

NewsNation is owned by Nextstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill.

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