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US Customs beefing up security along El Paso's stretch of border with Mexico

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By ERIKA ESQUIVEL, KFOX

EL PASO, Texas (CIRCA via KFOX) — Officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they are enhancing security at El Paso ports of entry because they say there has been an increase of migrants in the region.

CBP says there has been an increase of migrants arriving to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

They said they installed concrete K-rails and concertina wire at the ports of entries.

This material has also been used at border ports in California and south Texas.

“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,” said Hector Mancha the CBP director of field operations in El Paso.

A temporary migrant shelter across the border from south Texas is now closed.

ElPasoWall.jpg
CBP installs concertina wire at the Ysleta Port of Entry to enhance security.

An assembly plant in Piedras Negras, Mexico, was being used to house about 1,600 migrants from Central America.

The shelter's population had been dropping since last week.

Many of the migrants were reportedly bused to neighboring Mexican states.

This has led to complaints that migrants were being dumped in other Mexican cities including Ciudad Juarez.

On Monday, the mayor of Juarez said that he may file a complaint.

"Prompted by the state governments like the one in Coahuila, they offer free transportation to get them here, those things are not valid. The truth is that they are affecting a federative entity to another, and we have to prove our formal complaint because it is a direct impact on the economy of all Juarenses," said mayor Armando Cabada.

Officials in Juarez have set up an improvised shelter at a gym to help house the migrants.

“I think it’s a very bad decision by CBP because it’s not working in other states," said Adolfo Fuentes.

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“Well I disagree because, I don’t know, it’s a waste of money. And there’s like better things you can do with the money," said Francisco Carmona.

“It’s bad because a lot of people cross, and we are seeing there is division, and it doesn’t look good on a country that’s doing this that is is a free country," said Cesar Archuleta.

“I would agree that they have to be prepared. But that doesn’t give him the right to over exaggerate the situation and to make it seem like bigger issue," said Andres Flores.

Friday morning, commuters entering downtown El Paso from Ciudad Juárez spoke with Circa partner KFOX about the hardened security.

Ernesto Delfín lives in Ciudad Juárez, but crosses into the United States each day because he works in El Paso.

He said it didn’t take him longer than normal to cross into El Paso.

“The only thing that was strange for me,” he said, “was the concrete with the barbed wire.”

Delfín says that Customs and Border Protection also asked for his passport in the middle of the bridge, instead of near the El Paso port of entry.

“I imagine it’s for the security of all the people here in El Paso,” Delfín said. “So that’s fine."

Ernesto said it didn’t take him longer than five minutes to cross from Ciudad Juárez into El Paso on Friday morning.

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