U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement is adding additional barriers and barbed wire to the ports of entry in El Paso.
A news release from CBP said the additions are to prevent a potential rush of migrants trying to overrun law enforcement in order to enter into the United States illegally.
The barbed wire, or concertina wire, is similar to the wires that have been added at other ports in California and Southern Texas.
“Members of the traveling public may notice that CBP is taking a proactive approach to prevent the unlawful entry of persons into the United States at our ports of entry,” said Hector Mancha, CBP Director of Field Operations in El Paso, in a news release. “Waiting until a large group of persons mass at the border to attempt an illegal crossing is too late for us; it is vital that we are prepared prior to when they arrive at the border crossing. The safety and security of our communities, members of the traveling public, international trade, CBP personnel and our facilities is paramount.”
Officials said reports of an increasing number of migrants arriving in Juarez prompted them to enhance their security.
El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar released the following statement in regards to the new security measures:
“The barricades constructed today at our ports of entry by CBP are an affront to the El Paso-Juárez border region’s efforts and work to become a world-renowned destination for international trade and innovation.
“Our bridges are a symbol of our history with Mexico, our strong binational ties and shared interests, and should not become militarized zones based on a misguided policy rooted in fear.
“The Trump administration’s xenophobic policies harm our economic and cultural vibrancy. It’s time to address our challenges with smart, safe and humane border policies. Our border communities deserve better.”