Border Patrol agents in the Imperial Beach region of California reported a hectic night last weekend, nabbing 290 illegal immigrants over a 13-hour stretch.
The Imperial Beach station accounts for just six miles of the border.
Agents said the chaos began at around 7 p.m. Friday when they spotted a group of 90 migrants in an area they call Goat Canyon.
As agents were rounding up that first group, another group of 56 people came across three miles to the east in what’s known as South Levee.
Later in the night, agents spotted another group of 114 people near South Levee, and as they were securing that group, another 30 people came in through Goat Canyon.
The Border Patrol said at least 35 different nationalities were part of the mass of people: Afghanistan, Angola, Belize, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Turkey, Vietnam and Yemen.
Officials announced the chaos in a press release Tuesday, just as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was testifying to Congress that the border is secure — at least by his own definition.
“The way I define it is maximizing the resources that we have to deliver the most effective results. And we are indeed doing that,” he said.
Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana Republican, said that was a bogus standard.
“I understand your answer that you’re trying, but I’m not asking about your efforts. I’m asking about the results,” he said.
Mr. Mayorkas then pointed to the 1.4 million illegal border crossers who were expelled in fiscal year 2022 under the pandemic Title 42 policy. He said that’s a record.
“Do you realize that we are focused on enforcing our laws to achieve the security of the southern border?” he said.
Mr. Kennedy was not assuaged.
“I know you’re focused,” he said. “But you’re not succeeding.”
• Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
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