Surge in Illegal Immigrant Boat Landings Causes ‘Chaos’ For Coastal Cities

Over the last three years, California has seen an “exponential increase in maritime smuggling,” according to Brandon Tucker, director of Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations in San Diego, leading to chaos for local cities.

In fiscal year 2020, federal, state and local law enforcement recorded 308 maritime smuggling events on the shores of California beaches.

Last fiscal year, CBP recorded 736, a nearly 140% increase.

Nearly 8,000 people have been apprehended while trying to enter the U.S. illegally through the Pacific Ocean, its coastlines or its inlets since 2020, data provided by CBP shows.

“The safety aspects of maritime smuggling keeps me up at night,” Tucker said. “One wave over the bow and that vessel could go down.”

“Smugglers have convinced migrants that the maritime environment is an easier route. It’s more of a sure thing,” Tucker said, adding that people with knee, hip or other mobility issues might prefer a boat. “And in fact, it’s not. Ocean smuggling is so dangerous.”

Jack Enright, a San Diego native and videographer, captured on film a boat filled with illegals that “flew up” on shore recently.

“It was just chaos, honestly,” Enright told Fox News. “And everyone just jumped and started running.”

“The real enemy for me is that smuggler,” Tucker said. “It doesn’t matter to them if it’s a pound of cocaine, a pound of meth or a human — it’s just a commodity to them. It’s just money to them. And the callous nature of their operations put migrants’ lives at risk and put my agents’ lives at risk.”