JACUMBA, Calif. (Border Report) — Samuel Schultz has spent these last two weeks handing out peanut butter sandwiches and bottles of water to hundreds of migrants gathering at three spots near the high desert community of Jacumba, California, about 75 miles east of San Diego.
Schultz is a volunteer with a group called Border Kindness.
Schultz says he speaks with Border Patrol agents often who tell him they can’t keep up with the large volume of migrants coming across.
“The agents are swamped and they are very straightforward about the fact that this is not their job, this is not what they are set up to do they were never set up to do something like this. They are slammed.”
Schultz said it’s easy to spot when smugglers are driving up to the border barrier to drop off migrants who then walk around an area where the border barrier ends.
“You can see the clouds of dust on the roads south of the border, you know they are coming,” he said. “It’s an ebb and flow, 600 one day, then 300 the next, then back to 600, it’s up and down.”
Agents give priority to women and children.
While Border Report was there, an agent called out for women to line up to get them ready for transport to a Border Patrol Station about 30 miles away.
You could see women literally sprinting to get in line desperate to leave the area.
“These people are from every country in the world, everyone that I have spoken to, at least I could speak with, has said they have an address to go to and a job waiting for them, everyone.”
One migrant, named Sebastian from Colombia, said he too had a job waiting in California.
“My friend in San Jose is a mechanic and he has a job lined up for me,” he said.
According to Sebastian, he left home in late September landing in Cancun, Mexico before flying north to Tijuana and paying a smuggler $4,000 to take him to a spot just south of Jacumba where he could cross the border.
“We’re all looking for a better future, it was hard leaving Colombia, I left a piece of my heart back there.”
Migrants have gathered in Jacumba in the past. In May, when thousands of migrants were heading to the border before Title 42 expulsions ended, a camp popped up in the area.
Border Kindness, which is based in El Centro, Calif., provides asylum-seekers, migrants, refugees, and the displaced with basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and even legal services.
According to its website, members of the group believe “everyone should have the opportunity to live free of pain, hunger, intimidation, and fear.”
Since 2018, Border Kidness and volunteers like Schultz have gone into desolate and rugged areas to provide water and food to migrants who become stranded or lost.