A Border Patrol agent walks toward the concertina wire set up on the beach to keep people back from the fence.
A Border Patrol agent walks toward concertina wire set up to keep people back from the border fence. Photo by Chris Stone

Border agents in the San Diego sector are encountering an “unprecedented number” of Brazilian migrants, the Border Patrol reported Wednesday .

Since the current federal fiscal year began Oct. 1, agents have apprehended more than 7,300 Brazilians compared to just 330 in all of the previous fiscal year. 

There was no explanation given for the surge, but Brazil has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is hinting that he will not accept the outcome of the 2022 election if he loses.

The Border Patrol said that due to language barriers, processing large numbers of Brazilians strains limited resources — increasing the number of agents removed from patrol duties and being reassigned to processing centers.

“Despite the challenges, our agents remain resolute protecting America while processing migrants in a humane and professional manner. I am proud of all they do and the sacrifices they make every day,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke.

The San Diego sector covers California’s entire border with Mexico.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.