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Army Closes 2 Of 6 Lanes At Nogales Port of Entry, Conducts Training Exercises

Soldiers were seen erecting massive steel gates at two vehicle lanes of the downtown Nogales port of entry Wednesday.

The downtown port that connects Nogales Arizona and Nogales Mexico had six lanes. Now traffic must negotiate through only four to enter the U.S. Last week, Army troops raised concertina wire atop the border wall downtown.

Local county officials say they weren’t told of the additional closures. A Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman sent a prepared statement vetted by officials in Washington, D.C., about the lane closures late Wednesday.

“CBP’s Office of Field Operations is continually assessing its capabilities and making the necessary preparations in anticipation of the migrating caravan. On November 14, land ports of entry throughout Arizona began to ramp up operational readiness exercises and mobilization of resources. As part of these preparations, Department of Defense personnel have continued to install concertina wire, pre-positioning barriers, barricades, and fencing as requested by CBP under Operation Secure Line. This included the placement of large barriers, conex boxes on limited use northbound vehicular lanes of traffic, and tactical training exercises with personnel.

"CBP will provide an update when the materials are removed and the lanes re-opened, however it is not anticipated this will occur until after the caravan arrives at the border.

Persons traveling through some ports of entry may anticipate periodic increased wait times because of these exercises,” the press release said. The official took no questions.

The closing comes as Defense Secretary James Mattis visited troops in Texas. Meanwhile, the first of the migrants who traveled to the border have been arriving to the west in Tijuana.

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Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.