A man who said he was from Nicaragua appears to cry as he talks to a Border Patrol supervisor.
A man who said he was from Nicaragua appears to cry as he talks to Border Patrol supervisor William “Billy” Rogers in November 2018. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego sector of the U.S. Border Patrol announced Friday that it stopped more than 58,000 people for attempting to enter the country unauthorized during a recent 12-month period.

The Border Patrol said it prevented 58,049 people from entering the United States without a visa between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019.

In the previous fiscal year, between Oct. 1 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018, 38,591 people were arrested for attempting unauthorized entry in the San Diego sector of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the same Border Patrol press release.

“I have been very pleased with our progress within San Diego Sector’s area of responsibility, particularly with the long overdue and ongoing replacement infrastructure,” said Kathleen Scudder, acting chief patrol agent of San Diego Sector, in a statement.

The new primary wall upgrade project was completed in August and the secondary wall project is still ongoing, expected to be completed in January 2020. Four miles of new wall upgrade in the Tecate area is expected to be completed by August of 2020, officials said.

Unaccompanied children and families represent a significant portion of people detained by the agency. According to the release, 3,335 unaccompanied children were processed in 2018-19 compared to 2,491 in 2017-18. Agents processed 16,174 families in 2018-19, an increase from 4,408 in 2017-18.

Many of the migrants detained over the past year are not from Mexico. According to the Border Patrol, 27,255 “people from countries other than Mexico” were detained in 2018-19, a record. In 2017-18, 11,509 “people from countries other than Mexico” were detained.

An uptick in violent crime in Central American countries, such as Honduras and El Salvador, is reportedly a significant cause of increased migration to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Border Patrol said the San Diego Sector employs over 2,200 uniformed agents assigned to stations in Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, Brown Field, El Cajon, Campo and Boulevard, and two northern egress stations in San Clemente and Murrieta.

— City News Service