The Los Angeles Times is reporting that 15 people were rescued off the coast of San Diego today after an apparent smuggling raid went bad.
Late last year, I wrote this story about the trend in human smuggling by boat from Mexico.
Here’s a section from my story:
San Diego is not prone to Floridian images of desperate migrants clinging to desiccated boats and migrants’ bodies washing up on the city’s beaches. However, experts warned that a marine disaster involving human smugglers could happen any day.
“It’s very dangerous, and you just hope they’re watching the surf reports, like you hope they’re watching the weather reports in the summer when they’re bringing people across the deserts,” [Gordon Hanson, director of the Center on Pacific Economies at University of California, San Diego] said.
And here’s an extract from the Times story today:
The vessel was found eight or nine miles offshore, said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Vince Bond. There were no reports of death or serious injuries, but some people were dehydrated and sunburned.
All 15 were taken to Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and placed into custody of immigration authorities, Bond said. Their nationalities and immigration status were not immediately known.
Details were sketchy and preliminary, Bond said. A pleasure cruise noticed people waving from the boat and called a private towing company, which alerted the Coast Guard and CBP.
“We don’t know if they’re undocumented Mexican migrants or not,” Bond said. “Conventional wisdom would think that’s the case but we don’t know yet.”