California Officials Warn of Dire Consequences As Migrant Crisis Heats Up at US Border

By: Alex Trent | Published: Apr 10, 2024

As crossings at the US-Mexico border see record numbers, government officials continue to warn about the effects of increased strain on Border Patrol resources. Now, one border mayor in California is warning Americans about the dire consequences he sees the potential for.

El Cajon mayor Bill Wells told Fox News that the migrant surge could hide a massive unknown threat, one that he can see as allowing the possibility of a major attack on the country.

Wells’ Comments

In comments said to Fox News, El Cajon Mayor and congressional candidate Bill Wells asserted that a major terrorist attack is on the table amid the influx of migrants.

A street displaying US Route 80 located in El Cajon, California.

Source: Kire1975/Wikimedia

Wells references the names of several other attacks in history that are still fresh in people’s minds. He contends that the surge in border crossings leaves open the possibility of similar events occurring as a result of unknown people slipping through the border undetected.

Not Exaggerating

While some may view Well’s warning as political hyperbole, he asserts that he stands by his belief that the threat is very real. The fear is that the number of migrants crossing the border is too much for immigration officials to handle, creating the perfect conditions for an insurgent attack on the United States.

A pistol surrounded by bullets and laying on a black cloth.

Source: Tom Def/Unsplash

“I’m not trying to scaremonger, but I think you’d have to be foolish not to believe that,” Wells said.

140,000 Known Gotaways

Well’s comments echo similar sentiments shared by others concerned about what they call a crisis of migrants crossing the US-Mexico Border.

A border patrol agent in a green uniform with gloves is patting down an individual against a white van. The individual being searched has one hand raised above their head and is facing the van, with their back to the camera

Source: USBPChief/X

In March, Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens issued a dire warning about the possible consequences the crossings had for the country. Owens told CBS “We’re closing in on a million entries this fiscal year alone…but what’s keeping me up at night is the 140,000 known gotaways.”

National Security Threat

In the CBS interview, Owens outlined his national security concerns around “gotaways” a term used for migrants who slipped through the border that Border Patrol has no idea who they are.

A close-up of an American flag.

Source: Dave Sherrill/Unsplash

“That is a national security threat, border security is a big piece of national security. And if we don’t know who is coming into our country, and we don’t know what their intent is, that is a threat,” Owens said.

Change Under Biden

Under Joe Biden, the focus on border security changed from repelling migrants who attempt to cross into the country to processing claims for asylum and allowing more into the country to await a court hearing. In 2019, Joe Biden promised he would absorb 2 million asylum seekers “in a heartbeat.”

Joe Biden wearing a suit speaking in front of a podium into a microphone.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Now, several years later, Biden has been calling on Congress to fix what he calls a “broken immigration system” and help him secure the border as record levels of border crossings continue.


Processing Takes Away From Mission

Opponents of asylum claims say that processing so many claims is taking border authorities’ focus away from border security. Republican House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green made this argument in December.

Three Border Patrol agents on horseback traverse a field of tall grass. The agents are in standard green uniforms with protective vests and white cowboy hats

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Processing and releasing illegal aliens into the interior is not the job [border agents] signed up for and it pulls them away from their vital frontline security mission,” Greene said.



Border authorities have already had their hands full finding and arresting members of the dangerous international gang known as MS-13. A senior leader of MS-13 named Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada was arrested at the border last month. Just two weeks later, another member was arrested trying to sneak across the border.

A man with his hands behind his back.

Source: Kindle Media/Pexels

I’m glad they caught this individual,” San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond said of Jandres-Parada. “But how many others have come across that we don’t know of?”


Foreign Nationals

A few weeks ago, a Chinese national was arrested near the border after forcing his way into a Marine base located in Twentynine Palms, California.

Digital illustration of the Chinese flag

Source: Freepik

Border Patrol Agents were called out to the Marine Corps Air Ground base and determined that the Chinese man was in the country illegally. His intent behind forcing his way into the base is still under investigation.


Threat Posed By Foreign Nationals

Desmond, visiting with people from many countries in his role as San Diego County Supervisor, has questioned the intentions of some foreign nationals who are increasingly entering the country.

People of various ages are walking down a road in China. One group is holding a blue umbrella while another is riding on a moped

Source: Steve Long/Unsplash

“Communist China is not always our friend, and so there’s tensions there,” Desmond said. “To have many of their people just walking across our border — maybe they have good intentions, but maybe they don’t.”


Not Properly Vetted

One of the concerns that Desmond has is that it is difficult to properly vet people from some countries who try to cross the border. He says “proper vetting is not taking place.”

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, dressed in a green uniform with a badge visible on his arm, is holding up a small white card with text, presumably a document, for inspection

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“They don’t have China’s database. They don’t have Pakistan’s database or Venezuela, that database, to check to see if these people have any type of criminal background,” Desmond said.


Rude Awakening

Desmond joins others in warning about the possibility of something terrible happening due to immigration authorities’ challenges at securing the border.

Three U.S. Border Patrol agents in green uniforms are standing near all-terrain vehicles in a desert-like environment, with mountains in the background. In front of them, a group of individuals are seated on the ground

Source: USBPChief/X

“Someday we’re going to get a rude awakening,” Desmond said. “Something’s going to happen that involves people coming across the border that mean us harm and then being able to pull something off.”