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Border wall has a further 6ft-high gap and smugglers are apparently sending them around the existing fence with rucksacks
More than 150 migrants from several countries bypassed a length of already incomplete border wall between Tijuana and San Diego, and crossed illegally into the US, officials said.
The migrants crossed through gaps in fencing at Paso del Norte and Otay Mesa, San Diego, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement.
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The agency said 157 people were arrested for trying to enter the US illegally.
At least one immigrant carried a jacket to protect her body from cold winds in California, said Karen Johnson, who is a volunteer with RAICES, an immigrant rights organisation in San Diego.
She said there was more than a 6ft-high gap on the part of the border that the US had already constructed.
Agents seized more than $1m worth of drugs, including 15lbs of methamphetamine, and took over 200 people into custody over the past six days.
Although the wall has a 6ft-high gap, Johnson said migrants without fenced entryways were possibly receiving information about the construction effort, because a truck full of rucksacks was found when agents checked nearby vehicular traffic.
But she said most could simply have stayed on the Mexican side of the border, where more than 10 miles of fencing is up, complete with barbed wire.
“The fence is a big deterrent,” she said. “No one wants to get caught.”
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Other parts of the border are still under construction by the Trump administration.