The migrant caravans heading for the U.S. border have more than 500 criminals within them, according to homeland security officials.
During a conference call with reporters, officials said “most of the caravan members are not women and children,” Fox News reported.
Officials said that although woman and children pushed to the front of the group to get sympathy, most migrants are young males.
NBC reported that DHS has paid informants within the caravan that keep officials up to date on the progress of the migrants.
Officials estimated that as many as 10,500 people were traveling to the U.S. in a handful of different caravans, the Washington Examiner reported.
“The crisis is real and it is just on the other side of this wall,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday, according to KNSD.
Nielsen repeated the assertion that at least 500 criminals were traveling in the caravans.
Nielsen said migrants who think they can easily scale the walls that currently exist will be disappointed when they arrive at the border, which has been hardened by U.S. troops sent there by President Donald Trump.
“This is a border wall with row upon row of concertina wire,” Nielsen said “Make no mistake – we are very serious. You will not get into our country illegally.”
Unfortunately, some members of the caravan are purposely causing disruptions at our border ports of entry. There is a legal and illegal way to enter the US. We have deployed additional forces to protect our border. We will enforce all our laws.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) November 19, 2018
“Unfortunately, some members of the caravan are purposely causing disruptions at our border ports of entry,” Nielsen posted on Twitter. “There is a legal and illegal way to enter the U.S. We have deployed additional forces to protect our border.”
Nielsen said traveling by caravan may get media attention, but it does not change the basic laws involved.
“The caravan does not give one a special right to enter this country,” Nielsen said, adding that migrants with the caravan will have to “get in line” to seek asylum.
On Monday’s call, officials said that “all legal options are on the table and we have been negotiating with all our partners in central America with ways to deal with the caravan.”
New arrivals will add to the tense conditions in Tijuana, where 6,000 migrants are already waiting for asylum interviews, which take place at the rate of about 100 per day.
Tijuana expects its population of migrants may soon hit 10,000.
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