Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector Reports ‘Unprecedented Activity’ in Past Fiscal Year

A Border Patrol agent motions to migrants. Photo by Chris Stone
A Border Patrol agent motions to migrants. Photo by Chris Stone

The number of migrants keeps growing at the southern border where the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector is responsible for 60 miles of land border with Mexico, as well as the entire coast of California.

In the final tally for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the San Diego Sector reported Wednesday there were 230,941 encounters, a level of activity not seen in over two decades. This is up from the previous year when agents encountered 176,290 individuals. While most people encountered in the latest year were single adults, agents also encountered 49,214 family units and 5,198 unaccompanied children.

“These numbers tell only part of the story,” said Chief Patrol Agent Patricia McGurk-Daniel.  “Our agents have responded with professionalism to an unprecedented humanitarian situation at the border, while at the same time addressing dangerous and violent smugglers attempting to move illicit drugs and people across our border and into our communities.”

The final tally of narcotics seized in the past year was 1,285 pounds of fentanyl, 2,100 pounds of cocaine, 111 pounds of heroin, and 1,802 pounds of methamphetamine.

While the San Diego Sector accounts for only 3% of the Southwest border, it was responsible for over 45% of the total fentanyl seized. This year’s fentanyl total surpassed the previous record by over 200 pounds.

Border Patrol agents are frequently called to perform life-saving measures for migrants in distress. San Diego Sector agents responded to more than 5,600 calls for assistance last year. 

McGurk-Daniel said smugglers have repeatedly shown little regard for human life, and are willing to place migrants in dangerous situations, all in the name of profit. Many of these smuggling attempts occurred along the California Coast, with 2022 seeing the highest number of maritime smuggling events in the sector’s history.

The sector recorded 736 different maritime events. Smugglers used various methods to navigate the treacherous and often unpredictable maritime environment to gain illegal entry into the United States.

“With FY 2023 now behind us, our commitment to the Border Patrol mission remains steadfast,” said McGurk-Daniel. “I can’t extend enough gratitude and thankfulness to the Border Patrol agents of San Diego Sector. Every day they echo and exemplify the CBP core values of integrity, vigilance, and service to country.” 

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on the borders. To report suspicious activity, contact the San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.