The United States closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the busiest border crossing with Mexico to install new security barriers on Monday, a day after hundreds of Tijuana residents protested against the presence of thousands of Central American migrants.
The U.S. also closed one of two pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro crossing in a move apparently aimed at preventing any mass rush of migrants across the border. The installation of movable, wire-topped barriers threatens to complicate life for Mexicans using San Ysidro, where about 110,000 people enter the U.S. every day in 40,000 vehicles.
Such inconveniences prompted by the arrival of the migrant caravan may have played a role in Sunday's protests, when about 400 Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags and chanted "Out! Out!" referring to the migrant caravan that arrived in the border city last week.
Tensions have built as nearly 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.
According to abc15.com, U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana's main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.