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Op-Ed: Summer of more people, here illegally, on America’s beaches

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For several decades, America’s problems with people living in or entering the country illegally were largely focused on the southern border.

It made sense, given all that desert terrain and impoverished Latin American countries nearby.

Now, with the southern border having devolved into utter chaos, another entry point is becoming popular with migrants and the human traffickers who transport them: America’s shorelines.

Entering the United States illegally from the sea is not a new phenomenon, but reports have indicated a rise in waterborne smuggling. The incursions have become increasingly brazen. This month a small motorboat was caught on video as it roared onto the beach in Carlsbad, Calif., in broad daylight with at least 20 people jumping out of the vessel and running toward town as perplexed locals watched. Some of the invaders were seen jumping into a waiting SUV and driving off. It had all the indications of a planned escape, no doubt orchestrated by one of the cartels that now control who enters the United States.

That was just the latest incident in what is becoming a regular occurrence. Last year a boat containing 25 Haitian migrants was taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody off the coast of Florida near Miami. Because of its proximity to the Caribbean islands, Florida has borne the brunt of illegal maritime entries. The most famous was the Mariel Boatlift in 1980, when a mass exodus of Cubans was absorbed into South Florida. In 1991, about 40,000 Haitians attempted the same entry. The Coast Guard took 113 Haitians into custody in 2022 after their overloaded vessel ran aground off Key Largo.

The U.S. is not the only western country seeing boats of illegal aliens landing on its beaches. In the United Kingdom, 748 illegal aliens were recently brought ashore from Dover after crossing the English Channel from France. More than 6,000 foreign nationals have crossed the channel this year with the intent to enter England illegally. A quick online search will produce videos like the one of migrants landing an inflatable raft on a tourist-populated beach in Spain and melting into the city.

True believers in the anti-borders narrative can try to explain away these maritime incursions, but the application of Occam’s Razor-style logic yields some fairly clear explanations. The U.S.-Mexico border is less than 2,000 miles long, and our Border Patrol is currently overwhelmed trying to protect it with little to no support from the executive branch. The U.S. shorelines are over 95,000 miles long. The idea that we can patrol them any better than our southern border in our current political climate is an exercise in make-believe.

More importantly, an unofficial but very clear signal has been sent by this White House to the rest of the world: If you are taken into custody for illegally entering the United States, you will most likely be allowed into the country and permitted to stay indefinitely. The rules to qualify for asylum can be circumvented by using a few magic words supplied by activist lawyers.

Should our coasts become a new front in the border crisis, it also raises a security threat. Since the start of fiscal year 2023, the Border Patrol has caught 127 noncitizens listed on the FBI’s terror watchlist who tried to enter to U.S. through the Mexican or Canadian borders. Given the number of “gotaways” currently in the country, it raises the nightmare scenario that a sizeable population of foreign terrorists are now living among us. A porous coastline only gives those bent on causing great damage to our country another option for entry.

The White House has been looking to avoid responsibility for the border mess it created by now talking tough about cracking down on border security and tightening rules to accept asylum seekers. Such moves are long overdue and akin to closing the barn door after the horse has already fled. Based on this administration’s track record, these pronouncements are likely self-serving and will not be implemented or will be done for minimal effect. Nowhere in this rhetoric is any mention of the maritime entries, much less any plan to do something about them.

Thanks to the historically lackadaisical border enforcement currently in practice, your trip to the beach this summer may include having your sand castle knocked over by an illegal alien running from the law and toward the nearest sanctuary city.

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