The thousands of migrants from Central America camping out in Tijuana ready to apply for asylum at the US border crossing meant that Customs and Border Protection officials wanted to conduct a readiness drill yesterday as it was feared the tension could urge some of the migrants to storm the border in a large group.
CBP tweeted that preliminary reports of a planned five-day closure at the border were incorrect while reporters in San Diego watching the drills said the pedestrian border crossing, which is being reinforced with concrete and barbed wire, now looks nothing short of ‘a war zone.’
Traffic coming from Mexico was stopped for the duration of the “large-scale operational readiness exercise” leading immediately to long lines.
Tijuana residents had feared beforehand that the large groups of Central American migrants would result in intermittent border closures of the road into the US they depend on for their livelihood and the fact that this is now happening will not help to take away their anger over the illegals camped out all over the city.
Related coverage : Caravan – Central American Criminals Mass Arrests By Tijuana Police (Video).
More than 9,000 migrants are estimated to be staying near Tijuana awaiting a chance to apply for asylum in the United States, with the Department of Homeland security estimating that more will arrive.
On top of the migrants that have arrived in the past week, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Ms. Kirstjen Nielsen estimates that some 6,200 individuals with the migrant caravan are camped out in Tijuana, Mexico, and another 3,000 in Mexicali. A last migrant caravan is still underway.
Customs and Border Protection stated they were “continually assessing the capabilities of our facilities and have been making, and will continue to make, necessary preparations.”
“These include participating in operational readiness exercises and the mobilization of resources as needed to ensure the facilitation of lawful trade and travel.”
The whole border
Meanwhile Trump threatens to close the border with Mexico completely if the situation in Tijuana gets out of hand. Speaking to reporters, he said : “If we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control.”
“The whole border. I mean the whole border. Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many cars,” the US President added.
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