Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Diego closed down lanes at two of its busiest ports of entry on Tuesday “to install and pre-position port hardening infrastructure equipment in preparation for the migrant caravan" heading for California.
“At least three northbound vehicle lanes at San Ysidro and one lane at Otay Mesa will be closed to install and pre-position port hardening infrastructure equipment in preparation for the migrant caravan and the potential safety and security risk that it could cause,” CBP San Diego announced in a press release ahead of the closures.
CBP San Diego added that persons traveling northbound to the U.S. should anticipate possible increased wait times as a result.
The lanes were closed at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. As anticipated, northbound traffic at the San Ysidro port of entry on Tuesday was bumper to bumper.
Traffic was also heavier than usual, including foot traffic across the San Ysidro port, likely in response to CBP San Diego's announcement.
CBP San Diego in its press release noted that it will provide an update when added infrastructure are removed and the closed lanes are re-opened, “however it is not anticipated to take place until sometime after people in the caravan arrive to the border.”
Otay Mesa and San Ysidro are two of San Diego’s busiest ports of entry. San Ysidro alone sees more than 100,000 people cross the border every day.
Insofar as infrastructure, troops have been deployed to help CBP install barbed wire, jersey barriers, and fencing.
Last week, 1,100 Marines from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California were deployed to the border to provide support as part of “Operation Secure Line,” as Fox 5 San Diego reported.
CBP San Diego indicated that the troops will be helping install “concertina wire, and pre-positioning jersey barriers, barricades, and fencing.”
In addition to helping install “port hardening infrastructure equipment,” troops will also “be providing medical support, military police and air support,” reports Fox 5 San Diego.
“CBP has been and will continue to prepare for the potential arrival of thousands of people migrating in a caravan heading towards the border of the United States,” said Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “These preparations include training exercises, deploying additional CBP personnel, and partnering with the U.S. military to harden our ports of entry and the border area between those legal crossings into the U.S.”
“CBP officials in charge at our local border crossings must always maintain security while we work to efficiently process legitimate trade and travel into the U.S.,” said Flores. “The materials will be used to help strengthen border security, to ensure the safety of the American people, the traveling public, CBP personnel and the communities in which we serve.”