On Monday (Nov.19), reports have come out from Laredo, an American border town in Texas, of miles of barbed wire fencing being unfurled. Some 100 US troops from the 19th Engineer Battalion based at Fort Knox, Kentucky have started setting up a concertina wire along a stretch of the Rio Grande River, according to Agence France Presse.
The group working at the construction site is reportedly unarmed but has been provided with protection from a unit of military police nearby.
Commenting on the reaction of locals, Lt. Koepnick said that while there are voices against the fencing, there are also those who support the erection of the fence.
"There's been a lot of support, people coming in, vets shaking our hands, bringing us cakes, water, things like that," said the lieutenant.
Besides the local population, there are people standing on the other side of the river — migrants.
"You'll see people across the river cursing at us in Spanish, throwing bottles at us. But on this side it's more positive," explained Koepnick.
Situation on the Frontier
Over the past several days, thousands of migrants have reached the US border, sparking protests in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, as it has become a main crossing point, with US border inspectors processing asylum claims from the migrants. This has resulted in hundreds of locals coming out into the streets, waving their national flags and chanting "Out! Out!" calling migrants a threat to the city, according to The Guardian.
The migrant caravan, which started as a group of around 160 people at bus stops in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula in mid-October, has now reached the northern Mexican border and consists of between 3,600 and 7,000 people, according to Mexican government and UN estimates.