Facing More Agents on the Border, Migrants Enter by Sea
As the government increases border security efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border, more immigrants are attempting to enter the U.S. by sea, the AP reported today. Sea routes can be perilous — the AP reported at least two known deaths by immigrants crossing into the U.S. this year — but are considered by some migrants to be safer than crossing by land, where deaths are expected to reach record levels this year in one county.
Attempting to enter the U.S. on old, single-engine vessels often seems like the best option, experts said:
“Your options are to go east through the mountains and the desert, or west through the ocean, or you tunnel underground,” said Michael Carney, deputy special agent in charge of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. “I think they found that going west through the ocean is probably their best bet.”
But enforcement efforts at sea are also increasing: U.S. agents have arrested 753 illegal immigrants trying to enter California by sea since October, up from 400 arrests in the previous 12 months.
ICE Chief John Morton announced plans last week to expand sea port security efforts to catch people smuggling drugs, arms and immigrants along the border.