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

Central American migrants peer out from a migrant shelter as anti-immigrant demonstrators protest one block away in Tijuana Mexico on Sunday

Tensions have built as almost 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road - and with many more months likely ahead of them while they seek asylum in the U.S. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

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

Homeland Security shut down incoming traffic at the country's busiest land-border crossing in order to harden the port of entry, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday.

Ahead of USA congressional elections earlier this month, Trump denounced the approach of a caravan of migrants as an "invasion" that threatened American national security, and he sent thousands of US troops to the border to help secure it.

Asylum-seekers are encouraged to go to ports of entry to ask for help, but are often forced to wait weeks or months to do so because the USA government admits only a limited number at a time for processing. They comprise the majority of the border force, and have focused both on installing concertina and other barriers to slow down any rush of migrants, and building temporary camps in which USA soldiers can live nearby. Trump said at one point that he might send as many as 15,000 troops to the border, but as of last week, had deployed about 5,900.

The agency, with the help of troops from the Department of Defense, "appropriately responded by blocking the lanes, deploying additional personnel and seeking assistance from other law enforcement and federal assets", she said, sharing pictures of concertina wire put up around the port of entry.

Northbound lanes at the San Ysidro crossing from Tijuana to San Diego, California, were temporarily closed 'to position additional port hardening materials, ' a U.S. CBP spokesperson said.

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A US Border Patrol officer stands in front of the border fence that divides the US and Mexico at Friendship Park on November 16, 2018 in San Diego, California.

Some of the largely Honduran migrant were frightened over the weekend when about 500 people in an affluent district of Tijuana staged angry protests against the caravan.

The migrants' expected long stay in Tijuana has raised concerns about the ability of the border city of more than 1.6 million people to handle the influx.

There are more than 2,000 Central American migrants in Tijuana and Mexican officials warn the number could swell to over 10,000 as more of the caravan arrives.

Another migrant caravan of around 150 people reportedly set off from El Salvador for the U.S. on Sunday.

He tweeted on Sunday that the USA is "ill-prepared" for the migrants and "will not stand for it".

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