Border Patrol agents in a California mountain range were fired upon from Mexico while taking a group of migrants found illegally entering the country into custody last week – another instance of violence against U.S. immigration officers at the border, yet no arrests have been made.
At approximately 9 p.m. on Aug. 9, Border Patrol agents “were the target of multiple shots,” near Otay Mountain, which contains the highest summit of the San Ysidro Mountains located in San Diego County, according to a statement released on Saturday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The barrage of bullets were unleashed on agents arresting a group of undocumented immigrants, approximately two miles east of the Otay Mesa gatehouse and approximately 250 yards north of the international border. As agents escorted the group to their vehicles, they heard gunfire and gunshots heading towards the area where they were, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
Agents immediately ordered the migrants to take cover behind the bushes, while they themselves sought shelter. Marine Air Operations (AMO) and the tactical unit (BORTAC) responded to the area immediately, but could not locate the subjects, the statement, initially issued in Spanish, said.
The international liaison unit requested the assistance of Mexican authorities, who responded south of the border in the area where the shots were suspected to originate, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Residents of the area reported seeing several people from the Mexican side flee the area in a pickup truck and a motorcycle. No other information on the subjects could be obtained.
“Border violence is a serious threat to public safety, and to border agents responsible for national security. This incident is another example of the dangers our officers face every day.” San Diego Sector Border Patrol Chief Aaron Heitke said in a statement. “We are taking this event very seriously.”
The incident is under investigation and patrols in this area have increased. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the San Diego Sector Intelligence Center at (619) 216-4180.
It happened just three days after another shooting was reported by Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas. Surveillance camera operators in that sector confirmed the presence of two subjects armed with high-caliber rifles firing toward the North American side of the Rio Grande.
The number of people encountered illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has reached the highest in 21 years, after nearly 213,000 migrants were stopped in July alone, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a press conference in Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday. That’s nearly three times as many found in between the ports of entry at the southern border in January, when President Biden first took office.
Meanwhile, border communities such as Laredo, Texas are also encountering a record breaking number of stash houses, where cartel smugglers work with local gangs to crowd migrants in anything ranging from trailers to residential homes in…