California hit with surge of illegal border crossings as migrants abandon Texas: 'It's a free-for-all'

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California is battling a “free-for-all” of illegal border crossings as migrants shift away from Texas and head west. 

San Diego resident and Marine veteran Chris Mueller, who is at the southern border filming a documentary, called what he is witnessing a “slap in the face” to the brave Americans who sacrificed their lives for their country.

“I served my country and I protected those border walls. And to see people walk across like it’s no big deal, it’s concerning, right?,” he told “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday.

“It’s a free-for-all. I see people cross –  I got pictures of people like they’re YouTube influencers with their earpieces in walking, listening to Spotify as they cross the border like it’s a big joke, like they’re just going down to the store… it’s a slap in the face to every American that’s fought and died for this country.”

CHINESE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ON PACE TO BREAK RECORDS AT US SOUTHERN BORDER

Border Patrol with Jacumba migrants

Border Patrol processed migrants who came over a mountainside near Jacumba, California. (Fox News)

Over the last week of January, 71.8% of illegal immigrants apprehended by Border Patrol were in Arizona and California, sources with U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Fox News. 

Notably, the numbers in Texas’ Del Rio sector, which includes Eagle Pass, have fallen off a cliff. In December, the sector saw days of 3,000-4,000 illegal crossings per day. Over the last week, it has averaged around just 200. The sector has seen a 76% decrease in encounters since December. 

Meanwhile, migrant encounters are up 73% in the San Diego sector from January 2023 as they continue to be inundated with migrants from China and around the world. 

Mueller said he’s noticed the uptick firsthand having been at the border weekly for the past few months. 

“You can see the change,” he told Bill Hemmer. 

Jacumba migrants wait in remote area of California

A group of migrants wait to be processed in Jacumba, California.  (Fox News)

Lifelong San Diego County resident and Army veteran Cory Gautereaux told Fox News Wednesday he fears a “massive” national security risk from the surge and described migrants easily walking into California through gaps in the border wall.

“I would like to personally invite Governor Newsom and I will take him all along the border and show him the massive humanitarian crisis happening,” he told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday. 

“Because these are also people. I know they’re illegal, we don’t want them here, but they’re still human beings. It’s 40 degrees out right now. It’s pouring rain, and there’s people out there freezing right now.” 

The dramatic increase in Chinese illegal immigration is on track to break records at the southern border, with apprehensions from the communist country in the San Diego sector alone already eclipsing fiscal 2021 in just a few days.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources tell Fox News that between Saturday and Monday there were 452 Chinese nationals apprehended by Border Patrol in the sector.

That’s more than the 450 apprehended in fiscal 2021 altogether across the entire southwest border.

“It’s a brigade,” Gautereaux said, adding that while National Guard members from other states have been sent to California, they are operating in “observation mode” instead of being hands-on with crossings.

Texas, under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, has taken measures to deter migrants from crossing its border illegally, including by increasing the National Guard presence, erecting razor wire despite the disapproval of the Biden administration and kicking federal agents out of a park in Eagle Pass, known to be a hot spot for illegal crossings. 

Amid Texas’ unwelcoming posture to migrants, sources have told Fox News that more illegal immigration has shifted west to the border of the blue states of California and Arizona, where there is less resistance. 

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Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.

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