With all of the attention surrounding the southern border of the United States and building a wall, it is important to note that some people from across the world use other means to attempt illegal entry. While some simply overstay their visas, others try to enter illegally at other locations.
A recent example of this has been seen along the California coast. And how they got caught would be comical if the situation weren’t so serious.
Nine Chinese men, one Chinese woman and two Mexican men were arrested by authorities after entering the United States by way of Anaheim Bay, which is the property of the U.S. Navy, KCBS reported.
Authorities said that at least one of the Mexican men is a suspected smuggler.
— michele gile (@CBSmichelegile) January 28, 2019
The foreign nationals were in a small fishing vessel when they were spotted by Navy personnel. The boat has been called a panga boat and a ski boat by various sources, but it is unclear exactly what kind of boat the nationals arrived in.
For whatever reason, they had chosen one of the worst places they could if they were attempting illegal entry into the United States.
“As soon as they entered Anaheim Bay waters, they were immediately approached by base personnel. Once they approached them, they beached the boat and made a run for it,” Naval Weapons Station spokesman Gregg Smith told The Orange County Register.
But the approach by naval personnel didn’t stop the foreign nationals. At least some of them did manage to jump a fence and exit naval property, but they were far from home free.
Local authorities were notified by the naval base about the individuals. The foreign nationals were then “met by law enforcement from Seal Beach and Huntington Beach along with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Homeland Security agents and state park rangers,” The Register reported.
Homeland Security Investigations assistant special agent Matt Rice told KTLA that his agency responded to the area with other agencies because they’d been called about a smuggling vessel.
It was unclear at the time of his statement what role the two Hispanic males played, perhaps smugglers or people being smuggled in.
The small boat used by the men and women normally holds six people. For the dozen who were on it, conditions must have been cramped and unpleasant.
It was found containing a gas can as well as a lot of trash, according to The Register.
According to KTLA, the passengers may face deportation. If smugglers are identified, they will be prosecuted.
The boat used by 12 people taken into custody by federal officials in Huntington Beach earlier this afternoon is now being held by the OC Sheriff’s Dept. It will be turned over to the Naval Weapons station because the boat entered their area @CBSLA @KCBSKCALDesk pic.twitter.com/rZ8PJNq40h
— Chris Ercoli (@CErcoliCBS2KCAL) January 29, 2019
This is not a one-off situation, either. In a separate report, The Register wrote that multiple incidences have occurred in the general area involving alleged smugglers bringing people and drugs into the United States. The reported numbers from the incidences are staggering.
According to officials, there have been “433 arrests of people trying to enter the country via panga boats between Nov. 1, 2017 and Oct. 31, 2018 in the San Diego sector, which includes Orange County.” That represents only the ones who were caught in that area.
And that also only covers entry via panga boats. Authorities have noted that other boats, such as pleasure craft and fishing vessels out on the open sea, have also been used.
When such vessels and the open seas are used, it causes additional problems for authorities. This is because those situations can be much more difficult for authorities to detect.
The entire situation could be viewed as further affirming claims that the United States has a border and illegal immigration crisis. There are multiple ways and means of illegal entry, and all need to be addressed immediately.
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