Department of Homeland Security officials report that nearly 300 members of the migrant caravans en route to the U.S. at this time are either convicted criminals or known gang members. The criminals include individuals with convictions for sexual assault on a child, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, and assault on a female, officials reported.
In an effort to lay out the facts about the migrant caravans approaching the U.S. from Central America, DHS officials reported that more than 270 people traveling along the caravan route have criminal histories or are known to be members of violent gangs.
DHS officials stated:
We continue to be concerned about individuals along the caravan route. In fact, over 270 individuals along the caravan route have criminal histories, including known gang membership. Those include a number of violent criminals – examples include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, sexual assault on a child, and assault on a female. Mexican officials have also publicly stated that criminal groups have infiltrated the caravan. We also continue to see individuals from over 20 countries in this flow from countries such as Somalia, India, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. There is a large segment of this population that we know nothing about and we must be prepared to defend our border and enforce our laws to protect the citizens of our country.
The Mexican ambassador to the United States described some of the caravan migrants as “very violent,” DHS officials stated. “Unfortunately, some of the people in the caravan have been very violent against authority, even though they have offered the possibility of entering in compliance with immigration law and refugee status,” the ambassador said.
During a radio interview, Mexico’s Interior Minister Navarrete Prida confirmed that criminal groups and gangs have infiltrated the migrant caravans.
“I have videos from Guatemala that show men dressed in identical clothing, sporting the same haircuts, handing out money to women to persuade them to move to the front of the caravan,” Prida said. “We know, for a fact, that some members of the caravan threatened [Mexican] Migration Institute personnel and we have images showing many of them preparing Molotov cocktails.”
DHS officials also said the migrant caravans are about 50 percent male. The interior minister for Guatemala said the caravan organizers are pushing women and children to the front of the groups to act as human shields when the caravans approach military or police.
Officials expect members of the caravan could reach the U.S. border with four days or up to two weeks depending on how transportation becomes available for the migrants.
DHS officials stated they intend to enforce existing immigration and asylum rules and laws. They stated that individuals who are seeking family reunification or jobs are not eligible to qualify for asylum.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Border/Cartel Chronicles. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.