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(CA) Border Patrol Discovers Smuggling Tunnel in San Diego County After Arresting 30 Migrants

POSTED 10:09 PM, AUGUST 26, 2017, BY UPDATED AT 10:11PM, AUGUST 26, 2017

The arrest of 30 Chinese and Mexican nationals who had entered the country without authorization led U.S. Border Patrol agents to uncover a clandestine tunnel spanning the U.S.-Mexico border near the Otay Mesa port of entry early Saturday morning.

A tunnel opening equipped with a ladder that was discovered near the U.S.-Mexico border on Aug. 26, 2017, is seen in a photo released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.A tunnel opening equipped with a ladder that was discovered near the U.S.-Mexico border on Aug. 26, 2017, is seen in a photo released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The officials were patrolling the southern San Diego area, which borders the Mexican city of Tijuana, when around 1:15 a.m. they came across the group of migrants, who appeared to have just entered the country, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The agents searched the area and uncovered a crude hole in the ground that was outfitted with a ladder and concluded it was used to smuggle humans and illegal goods. The shaft would deposit people coming from Mexico just north of the secondary fence near the port of entry, officials said.

Agents plan to question the 30 migrants who were arrested about the discovery.

Among those taken into custody were 23 Chinese nationals — including 21 men and two women — as well as seven Mexican nationals, with four men and three women among them.

“While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, they are more commonly utilized by transnational criminal organizations to smuggle narcotics,” the CBP press release states. “However, as this case demonstrates, law enforcement has also identified instances where such tunnels were used to facilitate human smuggling.”

Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement responded to the scene and will be investigating the cross-border tunnel in conjunction with their Mexican counterparts.

This is certainly not the first surreptitious tunnel discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border nor the most sophisticated. In fact, officials said they believe it may be an extension of an incomplete tunnel that was previously identified and seized by Mexican authorities.


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ICE hiring 10 thousand agents in sanctuary cities

Published on Jul 19, 2017

Acting director cracking down on 'safe havens' like San Francisco, New York

ICE chief praises Trump, plans to send more agents to sanctuary cities

BY JOSH DELK - 07/18/17 05:00 PM EDT

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan on Tuesday said he plans to further crack down on undocumented immigrants by sending more resources and agents to sanctuary cities.

Homan told Washington Examiner on Tuesday that he plans to address "ludicrous" sanctuary cities.

"In the America I grew up in, cities didn't shield people who violated the law," Homan told the publication. “What I want to get is a clear understanding from everybody, from the congressmen to the politicians to law enforcement to those who enter the country illegally, that ICE is open for business."

"We’re going to enforce the laws on the books without apology, we’ll continue to prioritize what we do,” Homan continued. “But it’s not OK to violate the laws of this country anymore, you’re going to be held accountable.” 

During his interview with the Examiner, Homan also praised the Trump administration, saying it has "taken the handcuffs off law enforcement," allowing them to address immigration more thoroughly.

"You can like President Trump, not like him, like his policies, not like his policies, but one thing no one can argue with is the effect they've had," said Homan.

According to Homan, illegal border crossings have decreased by 70 percent under Trump and arrests inside the country have increased by 40 percent.

The 30-year immigration agency veteran also said he has gotten a green light to hire 10,000 new immigration agents, who will work to arrest illegal criminals sheltered in sanctuary cities and elsewhere.

Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions with policies limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents and include cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Austin.

President Trump campaigned on cracking down on illegal immigration and stepping up border security.

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Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (Candidate for VA Governor) Endorses Driver's Licenses For Illegal Immigrants