American troops deployed to the border installed barbed wire and barricades Tuesday as the first members of a migrant caravan arrived in Tijuana—with thousands more to come. US Customs and Border Protection said it was "hardening" the border "in preparation for the migrant caravan and the potential safety and security risk that it could cause," the AP reports. The agency said several lanes at the busy San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border crossings would be closed to allow the Defense Department to install fortifications.
Several hundred migrants traveling by bus arrived in Tijuana on Tuesday. The main group of around 6,000 mostly Honduran migrants began moving north from Guadalajara on Tuesday as another group of 1,300 migrants arrived in Mexico City. Migrants who spoke to the media in Tijuana said they were not deterred by the US border crackdown. "I prefer to be in detention in the United States than to return to my country, where I know they are going to kill me for being different,” transgender woman Nelvin Mejía told Reuters. "Last month, they killed my partner, and I do not want to end up like that." (The White House has tightened the rules on claiming asylum.)