Hours after images of migrants climbing a border wall in San Diego went viral, the Homeland Security Department deployed razor wire Wednesday to prevent a repeat.
The immigrants, who said they were the vanguard of the caravans streaming north through Mexico, ascended the fence Tuesday in a display of defiance. Video and photos showed them cheering and jeering atop the slat-style fence.
Although no arrests or confrontations were reported, Homeland Security took immediate steps to try to keep others from climbing by deploying concertina wire, which coils over itself, creating a thorough barrier.
“As we have said repeatedly, being a member of a caravan doesn’t give you any special rights to enter the country,” said Katie Waldman, Homeland Security spokeswoman.
Homeland Security released photos that show the concertina wire at the top and base of the fence on the U.S. side, as well as a second layer on the sandy beach further inside the U.S.
October set all-time records for illegal immigrant children and families attempting to sneak into the U.S., and November could be just as bad, with thousands of people in caravans making their way from Central America through Mexico.
The Trump administration has deployed the military to help harden the infrastructure. The president late last week signed a proclamation triggering a policy that rejects asylum claims from people who jump the border.
That is an attempt to crack down on bogus asylum claims, which have soared over the past five years. Although the claims may not be valid, those who make them are often set free into the U.S. while their cases are processed, and then they disappear into the shadows with other illegal immigrants.
The administration wants people claiming asylum to go to official border crossings, where their cases can be processed better.
Immigrant rights advocates have said that policy is inhumane and illegal. A lawsuit is pending to try to block the asylum crackdown.
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