On Monday, U.S. border officials temporarily shut down the busiest border crossing in anticipation of the incoming migrant caravan, which has been estimated to include up to 14,000 migrants.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stopped all vehicular traffic from Mexico into California via the San Ysidro port in order to bulk up vital infrastructure and security measures to properly handle the incoming migrants.
In a statement released by the CBP, the agency announced that “officials have temporarily suspended vehicle processing for northbound travelers at the San Ysidro port of entry Monday morning to position additional port hardening materials.”
According to Fox News, “Homeland Security officials say there are currently 6,000 people in Tijuana waiting to be processed at the San Ysidro border crossing, with more on the way.”
The San Ysidro port of entry “processes 20,000 pedestrians and 70,000 vehicles moving from Tijuana to San Diego each day,” which is “more traffic than any in the entire Western Hemisphere,” notes The Washington Examiner.
The shut down was temporary, though. “After the materials are in position, CBP will resume processing northbound vehicle traffic in select lanes at the border crossing,” the agency noted.
CBP and the Department of Defense “appropriately responded by blocking the lanes, deploying additional personnel and seeking assistance from other law enforcement and federal assets. #CBP has reopened lanes for legitimate trade and travel. I want to thank them for their swift actions,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Twitter. “Unfortunately, some members of the caravan are purposely causing disruptions at our border ports of entry. There is a legal and illegal way to enter the US. We have deployed additional forces to protect our border. We will enforce all our laws,” she added in a subsequent tweet.
The port was reopened later in the day on Monday.
The agency later elaborated on the matter, noting that “temporary impediment measures,” such as “concertina wire or Jersey barriers,” would be installed.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to prepare for the potential arrival of thousands of people migrating in a caravan to the United States through the Southwest border,” said an email from a CBP spokesperson, according to the Examiner. “Part of those preparations include installation of temporary impediment measures at and between the Ports of Entry, such as concertina wire or Jersey barriers.”
The migrant crisis at the border has been acknowledged by President Donald Trump on numerous occasions. Before the midterm elections, the president said he would deploy U.S. troops to the southern border to deal with the incoming caravan.
On Monday, homeland security officials confirmed that more than 500 individuals traveling with the caravan are criminals.
“The revelation was made during a conference call with reporters, with officials asserting that ‘most of the caravan members are not women and children,'” reports Fox News. “They claimed the group is mostly made up of single adult or teen males and that the women and children have been pushed to the front of the line in a bid to garner sympathetic media coverage.”
“All legal options are on the table and we have been negotiating with all our partners in central America with ways to deal with the caravan,” said one homeland security official.