SAN DIEGO — Eleven hundred Marines are providing support to the U.S.-Mexico border as part of “Operation Secure Line” in response to thousands of Central American migrants traveling toward the U.S.
“Anybody that jumps the border fence or crosses between the ports of entry will be arrested and they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. That includes this group,” said U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott.
At the San Ysido point of entry, troops are tasked with tightening security, including installing barbed wire along the wall to make it more difficult to cross. Troops will also be providing medical support, military police and air support.
More than 5,700 troops have been deployed along the entire southwest border, Scott said. That includes approximately 1,300 troops in California, 1,500 in Arizona and 2,800 in Texas.
San Ysidro is one of the busiest border crossings in the world with more than 100,000 people crossing every day, border patrol agents said.
“We are at capacity,” Chief Scott said. “This is potentially breaking our system.”
The San Ysidro port of entry facility can hold approximately 300 detainees at a time.
“We will not deny access to the ports of entry, but we may ask undocumented persons to wait until we have the capacity to process them,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Pete Flores.
Many migrants are seeking asylum in the U.S.
“Mexico has already offered asylum to these individuals,” Chief Scott said. “Your asylum claim here, unless it’s fear from Mexico, is not going to probably go well. You will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and ultimately you will be returned to your country. Do do not put yourself or these other people, especially children, at risk. It’s a very dangerous journey and it’s not worth the trek.”
Department of Defense Lt. General Jeffrey Buchanan said troops are expected to be removed from the border by December 15.
— Justina Myers (@JustinaReports) November 10, 2018