SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection closed all lanes from Mexico into the U.S. Tuesday morning for about 10 minutes to conduct an operational readiness exercise at the Tecate Port of Entry.
Migrants grow more desperate at the border and some reportedly see illegal entry into the U.S. as a faster way to political asylum. Thousands more have been moved to a new camp in order to better accommodate those in need.
San Diego's U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office released the following statement in part:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has an established process for asylum seekers to orderly present themselves at a port of entry. When people choose to ignore that process, they put themselves in danger and, in the case of families, they choose to put the lives of their children at risk. Additionally, when people enter the U.S. illegally, they enlist the services of a smuggler, which brings a criminal element into the situation and further increases the danger.
On Monday, about 1500 feet from Imperial Beach, several migrants found a section of the fence that was low due to a ditch and were able to squeeze through, some used blankets as ropes to pull each other over the fence, but they were quickly picked up by border patrol.
News 8 raw footage of migrants climbing the fence at the border, seeking illegal entry into the U.S., (Monday, Dec. 3, 2018).
One person was heard yelling “climb up, stand on my head!” A mother and child made it over the fence and disappeared into the U.S., which motivated the others to keep trying. All this while border agents were nearby and patrolling with a helicopter overhead.
A few people ran once they were on the U.S. side to try and avoid capture, but most of them walked slowly towards agents and turned themselves in to U.S. authorities hoping the illegal entry would allow them to apply for asylum.
Since October, thousands of Central Americans, mostly from Honduras, have traveled north through Mexico toward the United States in a caravan
U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop the migrants entering, sending troops to reinforce the border and attempting a procedural change, so far denied by the courts, to require asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are heard.
CBP says they are continually assessing the capabilities of their facilities and has been making necessary preparations. Preparations include participating in operational readiness exercises and the mobilization of resources, as needed, to ensure the facilitation of lawful trade and travel.