A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security says the agency has confirmed criminals, gang members and other bad hombres are part of the migrant caravan making its way toward the US border through Mexico.
In addition to Hondurans, DHS Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton on Tuesday admitted the agency has been tracking criminals within the 14,000-personcaravan which stormed the Mexico-Guatemala border last week.
“.@DHSgov can confirm that there are individuals within the caravan who are gang members or have significant criminal histories,” Houlton wrote on Twitter.
“Citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.”
“Stopping the caravan is not just about national security or preventing crime, it is also about national sovereignty and the rule of law,” Houlton added. “Those who seek to come to America must do so the right and legal way.”
The DHS spokesperson’s admission bolsters President Trump’s Tuesday assertions that criminals and others are mixed into the caravan.
“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!” Trump tweeted on Monday.
Speaking with Fox News on Wednesday, reporter Sara Carter notedthat “Some of the people within the caravan were actually tattooed with MS-13 markings.”
“It wasn’t the majority of people, though, but what I can tell you is the majority of people that were in the caravan and the people I interviewed on the ground there were men,” Carter added.
Additionally, a member of the caravan being interviewed also admitted there were criminals within the group, albeit “not that many.”
In the days after Trump made the allegations, several mainstream media reporters, including NBC’s Chuck Toddand Univision’s Jorge Ramos, claimed he was lying.
“Jorge, the president’s claim, which he admits he has no proof of… that there are people from the Middle East… in this caravan… Have you seen anything to back up those claims? Have you seen any Middle Easterners?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Ramos earlier this week.
“Absolutely not and I think President Trump needs to tell the truth to the American people. He just wants to create fear and that’s not the truth.”
On Thursday, President Trump reached out to the caravan, telling them to turn around and go back home, from which they can apply for US citizenship legally.
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