Nearly 2 Dozen Suspected Migrants Dock Boat in Newport Beach Before Disappearing

Nearly 2 Dozen Suspected Migrants Dock Boat in Newport Beach Before Disappearing

A public pier at the harbor in Newport Beach, Calif., on Jan. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

5/4/2024

Updated: 5/5/2024

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A video that has gone viral recently on social media shows a group of migrants jumping from a boat and running on shore in Newport Beach last month.
Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill said he is working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to investigate the landing that happened April 20.
“I’m aware of a video showing a mass of people offloading from a boat in our Harbor. I’ve been in touch with the O.C. Sheriff’s Department who patrols our Harbor to find out how we can do better,” the mayor said in a May 2 post on X.
The video posted by @OCLiberator on May 2 shows around two dozen individuals believed to be migrants exiting a boat docked at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula. Witnesses told KTLA 5, a local television station, that several vehicles were waiting nearby to receive those aboard.
According to the sheriff’s department, deputies who work the harbor were dispatched around 12:30 p.m. on April 20 to the M street public dock in the Newport Harbor where they found an empty boat, a spokesperson told The Epoch Times. He said for any vessels that reach land, jurisdiction falls into the hands of local police.
A spokesperson for the Newport Beach Police Department told The Epoch Times the department hasn’t launched any investigation because immigration-related issues are overseen by state agencies.
County Sheriff Don Barnes wrote on X that maritime smuggling has been increasing in California since 2020—from 308 incidents in the fiscal year 2020–21 to 736 in the following year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data cited by the sheriff, which he said was due to the state’s “sanctuary state” policies.
“Maritime smuggling is up, and although our Harbor Patrol works to interdict vessels trafficking drugs and people, state restrictions on communications with federal partners hinder our efforts,” Mr. Barnes said in an April 30 X post.
In response to the data, the mayor said the nation’s border crisis is out of control and has been made worse by administrations both in the state government and Washington D.C.
“We must expect better from people in charge of enforcing our laws,” he said.
Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton told The Epoch Times he and others on the city council agree with the mayor’s comments.
“We totally agree that these failed policies from Sacramento are continuing to dictate quality of life for our residents here in Newport Beach,” he said.
In January more than 20 illegal immigrants arrived at a beach by boat in San Diego and disappeared on the streets of La Jolla.
But border-crossing by sea can be deadly at times. In March 2023, eight people died after two boats suspected of smuggling migrants crashed off the coast of Black’s Beach in San Diego, according to media reports.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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