Asylum-seeker demonstration briefly shuts down portions of California border crossing

California

Demonstration at San Ysidro Port of Entry forces the closure of several northbound lanes of traffic as well as pedestrian access to U.S. last Friday afternoon. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — They heard President Joe Biden was finally giving them a chance to cross the border so they rushed to the San Ysidro Port of Entry hoping it was true. It wasn’t.

It was just another rumor last Friday.

But instead of dispersing right away, dozens of asylum-seekers decided to stay put blocking several northbound traffic lanes and the pedestrian side of the border crossing.

U.S. border officers immediately came out and lined up to prevent the crowd from rushing through the gates.

This created instant gridlock for two hours.

U.S. federal agents temporarily blocked access to several northbound lanes of traffic at San Ysidro Port of Entry. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

One of the demonstrators, Romualdo Reyes Rivera, a migrant from the Mexican state of Michoacán, said the rumor of the U.S. allowing asylum-seekers to enter the U.S. spread quickly.

“We heard they were giving out information at the border, that we had to go there and sign up for asylum so we came here, turns out it’s not true they were just rumors,” he said.

Reyes Rivera lives at the makeshift camp just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which has been there for more than six months and has more than 1,500 inhabitants.

Agents lined up at San Ysidro Port of Entry blocking several lanes of northbound traffic. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

He and his wife and two daughters arrived at the camp recently hoping to enter the U.S. “for a better life.”

Sydney Aki, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said at the time of the demonstration that the lane closures were just a precaution.

“We just want to make sure everything is safe and cannot allow any access right now, we ask people remain patient until we can verify everything is safe,” Aki said.

A large demonstration forced the closure of several northbound lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

During the demonstration, Tijuana Police also responded and directed traffic away from the port of entry.

One of the demonstrators, considered to be leading the protest, was detained and taken from the scene.

Eventually people involved in the demonstration left the area and the traffic lanes that had been closed reopened along with the pedestrian access point to the United States.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.