Nestled in the canyons of San Diego are well-hidden migrant camps complete with fire hazards, drug paraphernalia and evidence of prostitution. These third-world living conditions are located next to a small creek quaintly named “Little Gopher Canyon" and a large strawberry field.
Imagine taking a hike in a scenic canyon looking for wildlife or wild flowers and you stumble upon a migrant encampment with so much trash and fecal matter the smell is nauseating. This sight is totally out of place with the large country homes and estates dotting the nearby hillsides in the rural area of San Diego.
Two local day labor sites are also likely feeding the illegal squatter population in the canyon. Again, angry neighbors were quick to speak their minds. This time, once the Sheriff’s Department was notified, swift action was promised.
“The San Diego Sheriff’s Department Vista Station makes every effort to stay on top of transient encampment as they are located,” says Capt. Tim Curran from the Sheriff’s Department.
In Vista, the Sheriff’s Department offers a program working with residents in order to control the migrant issue. “Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS), has a Deputy assigned to handle the camps, the homeless population and the problems associated with them,” Curran said.
Captain Curran promised to forward the photo’s taken yesterday along with approximate site locations to Deputy Kirsten Lorek and report back in a couple of days.
This comes as good news to Suellen Shea who lives near the migrant encampment. “We have lived in this house for more than 35 years,” she explained. “We are petrified of the fire danger that comes along with the squatter camps.”
Several butane cans and stoves were photographed in and around the illegal migrant camps.
Shea explains that the canyon is peppered with illegal camps containing numerous fire hazards that may cause serious evacuation problems as the main road is a one-way in and one-way out road for all community homeowners.
“The lack of exits concerns many of the residents here,” she said. “Having illegal migrants living in canyons without any regard for us is very frustrating. We work very hard to keep our property clear of fire hazards every year and plant ice plant s around our property so our home doesn’t burn down.”
Some residents are angry that their fate rests in the hands of local government to keep them safe.
Farmers who apparently employ these foreign migrant workers fail to provide farm-worker housing as required by the U.S. Visa regulations; unless of course they are employing illegal aliens to skirt their legal responsibilities and obligations. In that case, a multitude of laws are being broken.
Many of these migrant encampments contained drug paraphernalia and evidence of large amounts of alcohol. There were leftover condoms leading one to wonder if prostitution has returned the fields of Vista.
In 2003 a Los Angeles TV News station conducted an undercover investigation and found prostitution taking place with very young girls being trafficked in for the illegal migrants. (See the video link is below)
“It is appalling to think about the prostitution and drug use happening so close to our home. We live a quarter-mile from the migrant encampments,” Shea says. “It has been so bad in the past I could not let my daughter ride her bike to her friend’s house. Let’s just say, I am worried about her safety.”
The camps uncovered yesterday appear to be located on or next to Bonsall Farms property, but when they were contacted for comment, calls went unreturned.
Follow this link to the young girl’s sex trafficking caught on film by Ch. 4 News in 2003
The Fields of Shame
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