The U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed Thursday that a message circulating on social media saying that San Ysidro Port of Entry would be closed for five days was a fake and did not come from the agency.
CBP said that following a scheduled drill at the port Thursday afternoon, which began at 2 p.m. and lasted about 40 minutes, operations were steady.
Rumors via social media have @CBPSanDiego planning a 5 day closure for #SanYsidroPOE - ARE INACCURATE. After finishing today’s previously announced exercise-operations are steady. If changes to operations become necessary, #CBP will alert the public as we have been doing. pic.twitter.com/DxbPDXcnvG— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) November 23, 2018
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The "large-scale operational readiness exercises" was visible to some drivers.
The CBP said the exercise was designed to "evaluate readiness and assess the capabilities of CBP facilities to make sure necessary preparations."
CBP would not confirm or deny if the exercise was part of preparations in anticipation of thousands of Central American migrants currently in Tijuana, Mexico awaiting a chance to seek asylum from the United States.
"The main objective of the exercise is to evaluate CBP readiness to secure a port of entry in case of any large crowd contingency," a CBP spokesperson said in a written statement to NBC 7.
The military was not involved in this training mission, CBP said.
“It feels a little bit like a war zone," Bismark, North Dakota resident Gary Emineth said. It was his first time ever seeing the San Ysidro Port of Entry. "You hear all the helicopters flying overhead, you see the barbed wire. It’s not very inviting, and maybe that’s part of what the Trump Administration wants.”
Before the training exercise, CBP was expected to reopen several northbound lanes at the San Ysidro POE.
Three lanes into the U.S. were blocked off last Monday "in preparation for the migrant caravan and the potential safety and security risk that it could cause," CBP said in a statement.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.