A caravan of nine buses carrying migrants arrived at the southern border this week.
About 350 migrants are the first group to reach the U.S. border after weeks of travel through Central America and Mexico. The caravan members will rest and then line up to request asylum.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it is closing lanes at crossings near Tijuana so military can install barbed wire and barricades.
“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,” said Pete Flores, the agency’s director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement.
As the groups have traveled, President Donald Trump said he would deploy military to the border and sign a presidential proclamation that would suspend asylum. He called the caravans an “invasion.”
According to the Department of Defense, there are 2,800 troops stationed in Texas, 1,500 in Arizona and 1,500 in California.
At U.S. ports of entry, migrants are able to walk up to the port and request asylum in person. According to USA Today, only 100 asylum seekers can be processed per day.
In April, a caravan of about 400 migrants presented themselves at a port of entry to request asylum. Of that, 122 tired of waiting and entered the country illegally.
In total, some 5,000 migrants are caravanning to the U.S. from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where they say they face poverty and violence.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Spencer Platt/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.