KTLA News Reports on Illegal Immigration

By Marc Sternfield, Chip Yost

May 03, 2024

A video posted on social media shows a boat carrying suspected illegal immigrants recently docking in affluent Newport Beach, California.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the landing occurred around noon on April 20.

Video shared on X, formerly Twitter, by @OCLiberator shows roughly 20 people fleeing the overcrowded vessel after it pulled up to a small dock in Newport Bay.

By the time deputies responded, everyone was already gone, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A video posted to social media shows a boat of suspected illegal immigrants docking in Newport Beach, California, on April 20, 2024. (X: @OCLiberator)

A witness told KTLA 5 News that several vehicles were apparently staging near tennis courts, waiting for the boat to arrive.

“I saw a van pull up and people jump in, and away it went,” Joe Thompson told KTLA 5 Orange County Bureau Chief Chip Yost.

Five days earlier, video captured a boat charging ashore at a beach in Carlsbad, coming dangerously close to a surfer and unloading roughly a dozen suspected migrants.

The Orange County Sheriff, citing government statistics, says the number of maritime smuggling events in California has more than doubled in recent years, from 308 in 2020 to 736 in 2023. Authorities are calling for changes in state and federal laws to give authorities more power to stop smugglers from reaching land.

The operations occasionally end in tragedy.

In May 2023, eight people died when two suspected migrant smuggling boats overturned off the coast of Black’s Beach in San Diego.