OCTOBER 26, 2007
Mexican illegal immigrants have taken advantage of the California wildfires, looting and stealing from evacuated homes and victim shelters and entering the country through vulnerable border crossings abandoned by U.S. agents forced out by flames.
More than 1,400 homes were lost in the catastrophic fires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres throughout southern California and led the president to officially proclaim the event a federal natural disaster.
U.S. Border Patrol agents in several San Diego crossings were forced to evacuate their posts and illegal immigrants took advantage to enter the country. More than 200 illegal aliens have been arrested in the fire zone since the flames erupted earlier this week and several are being treated for burns at San Diego hospitals.
Many of them entered the U.S. through a remote border crossing (Tecate) just minutes after Border Patrol agents evacuated, locking a small gate behind them. Migrants opened the gate and a rush of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicle, ensued. Federal authorities are still not certain how many illegal immigrants have slipped into the country in the last few days.
Additionally, there have been numerous incidents of illegal immigrants looting and stealing from burned residences in the San Diego area as well the football stadium that served as a shelter for thousands of evacuees. The San Diego County Sheriff has arrested several of the culprits, including two illegal aliens caught crossing back into Mexico carrying items stolen from a burned home.
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