Caravan forces short-term shutdown on US border as DHS boosts security

Caravan forces short-term shutdown on US border as DHS boosts security

U.S. Department of Defence personnel install barriers requested by Custom and Border Protection at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego, California under the Operation Secure Line anticipating the arrival of Central American migrants heading towards the border, as seen from the Mexican side of the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on November 13, 2018.

"Our end date right now is 15 December, and I've got no indications from anybody that we'll go beyond that".

Long lines backed up in Tijuana, where many people have to cross the border to work on the USA side.

US President Donald Trump has characterised the migrant caravan as an "invasion" and has deployed thousands of US troops to the border.

"The returning service members include engineering and logistics units whose jobs included placing concertina wire and other barriers to limit access to ports of entry at the US-Mexican border", the website added. Trump said that up to 15,000 could be deployed.

On Monday, three critics with military and national security experience - Gordon Adams, Lawrence Wilkerson and Isaiah Wilson III - wrote in the New York Times: "The president used America's military forces not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election outcome, an unprecedented use of the military by a sitting president". Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, tweeted: "Troops at border starting to withdraw". The civil defense department of Jalisco state, where migrants pass on their way to Tijuana, said it would no longer provide shelters for migrants, citing problems with fights among migrants at a shelter last week.

Pedestrians stand near barbed wire at a legal Mexico-U.S. border crossing as they prepare to leave Tijuana, Mexico, Monday.

It was a rare closing of the station, which is one of the busiest border crossings in the world, with tens of thousands Mexicans heading every day into the United States to work or study.

A Department of Homeland Security official, who requested anonymity, told reporters on a conference call that us officials had heard reports some migrants were intending to run through border crossings into California.

"If the government can't control all this, organised crime and drug cartels will". More bands of migrants are making their way toward Tijuana, with around 10,000 expected. Calling it an "invasion", Mexican protesters declared, "No more Caravans", and "Let's save Tijuana, no more caravans!"

Currently, the troops serving on the border may act in self-defense, but they do not have the authority to intervene if CBP personnel are overwhelmed by migrants.

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