OTAY MESA, Calif. -- Two members of Congress spent their Monday with about 15 Central American asylum seekers at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry trying to observe how they were treated by U.S. officials.
The group of asylum seekers was made up of mostly unaccompanied minors, along with a mother and five of her children.
Representative Nanette Barragán and Representative Jimmy Gomez, who both serve the Los Angeles area, were outspoken on social media throughout the day demanding answers. When border officials said the group could not be processed due to capacity issues, Barragán and Gomez demanded to see the facility, but were never granted their request.
"No one has been allowed in to see if they have the capacity, so we are here to observe to make sure they are following U.S. law and international law," said Rep. Gomez, who was joined by lawyers and advocacy groups.
A tweet from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Monday evening said the large influx of Central Americans arriving at U.S. ports of entry has put a strain on the system, confirming it is currently at capacity.
By 9 p.m. Monday, most of the 15 asylum seekers at Otay Mesa had been taken in for processing, except for one family and a man, according to Rep. Barragán.
Meanwhile, the number of troops stationed at the border has drastically gone down. As of last week, the total number of military supporting customs and border protection along the southwest border was about 5,200. More than 2,000 troops are now back at their home bases, leaving around 3,000 at the border to provide ongoing support for CBP officers and border patrol agents.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps confirmed to FOX 5 there will be a larger military presence in Imperial Beach through Christmas for additional construction support.