Story at a glance

  • A woman was found unresponsive in the water near the international boundary between Tijuana and San Diego.
  • US Customs and Border Protection agents attempted CPR on the woman and emergency medical services pronounced her deceased late Friday.
  • Border crossings along California’s coastline have spiked in recent months.

A woman was found dead while attempting to swim around the US Mexico border fence into San Diego over the weekend. 

The woman was part of a group of possibly 70 migrants that were trying to swim across the international boundary from Tijuana, Mexico into San Diego’s Border Field State Park. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced they had come across an unresponsive woman and began performing CPR. Emergency medical services (EMS) later pronounced she was deceased shortly after midnight Saturday. 

Metal fencing separates San Diego from Mexico and runs about 300 feet deep into the Pacific Ocean, according to CBP’s San Diego division. 

After further searching the area, CBP reported taking 36 Mexican nationals into custody who attempted to swim across the border. Border crossings along California’s coast began picking up steam over the summer, with many migrants using small fishing boats, known as pangas, to cross into the US on water.


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In August, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a trend in, “maritime smuggling events,” in Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. ICE apprehended 90 undocumented migrants at various California coastlines, most adult males, but also included females and teenagers. One apprehension in July resulted in two migrants being hospitalized with hypothermia after their panga capsized. 

Aarn Heitke, San Diego sector’s chief patrol agent, said in a statement, “This is yet another example of the ruthless tactics smuggling organizations use to bolster their power and profits. We will work tirelessly to pursue and bring to justice those responsible for this tragedy.” 

CBP data reveals over 1.7 million migrants have been detained along the Southern border, the highest level recorded to date, in fiscal year 2021 which ended in September.


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Published on Nov 01, 2021