USA lays barbed wire at border as migrant caravan draws closer

Clay Curtis
November 14, 2018

A Marine uses concertina wire to fortify the border separating Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Some of the migrants were set to arrive at the border city of Tijuana, while others later in the week to Reynosa and other border towns, according to migrant shelters. It is unlikely all of the caravan would cross the southern border in one day, but even if they did, the number is not expected to overwhelm border agents.

Tijuana is at the westerly end of the border, about 38 kilometres from San Diego, California.

Around 4,800 United States soldiers were deployed to the border with Mexico, the Pentagon announced, saying it could not give a price tag for the operation Democrats decry as political maneuvring from President Donald Trump.

Several hundred members of the migrant caravan moving through Central America made it to Mexico's border with the US this week, where they will most likely wait to legally enter a port of entry as asylum seekers.

U.S. authorities closed down several lanes of traffic at two border crossings from Tijuana to California on Tuesday so that soldiers can install barbed wire fencing and barricades to reinforce security.

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"CBP has been and will continue to prepare for the potential arrival of thousands of people migrating in a caravan heading toward the border of the United States", Pete Flores, the agency's director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement, citing a "potential safety and security risk".

On Friday, Trump signed a decree that effectively suspended the granting of asylum for those who cross the border illegally, a move that could drastically slow claims at gates of entry.

Hundreds of Central American migrants resumed their march north through Mexico on Saturday, en route to the US border where Trump has effectively suspended the granting of asylum to migrants who cross illegally.

The group of 400, who include LGBTIQ migrants, broke away from the larger caravan of 5,000 people in Mexico City. Many of them die in the attempt or are kidnapped by organised crime groups.

Mattis said he would provide the cost of operation "as they become known".

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