(CNSNews.com) – Over 270 people along the migrant caravan route that’s headed through Mexico to the United States have criminal histories including gang membership, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday.
Additionally, there are individuals from over 20 countries such as Somalia, India, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, DHS said on its website in a fact sheet titled, “Myth vs. Fact: Caravan”
Furthermore, DHS said it knows nothing about “a large segment” of the caravan population.
“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,” DHS said.
“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,” DHS added.
DHS also noted that on Oct. 29, the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. reported that some of the caravan members were “very violent.”
“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 Mexican ambassador said.
Furthermore, in Guatemala, some criminals have paid women to move to the front of the caravan so they can be used as human shields when the caravan pushes against the Guatemalan military.
“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…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,” Mexico’s Interior Minister Navarrete Prida said Tuesday on a local radio station Radio Enfoque (Focus) 100.1 FM.
As far as the makeup of the caravan, DHS said the caravan isn’t mostly women and children. In fact, 50 percent are single adults, according to reports on the ground from the United States’ foreign partners.
“The Guatemalan Intel Minister said that the caravan is employing tactics to push women and children to the front to act as human shields as the caravan pushes against its military forces,” DHS stated.
The caravan is expected to arrive “between four days and two weeks” from Oct. 31 “depending on the mode of transportation and whether they make any prolonged stops.”
The U.S. military is deploying 5,200 troops to the border as part of Operation Faithful Patriot in addition to the 2,000 National Guardmen already there for Operation Guardian Support to help Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“The potential for large groups – who have already showed a propensity to using violence to achieve its objective – presents a unique safety threat to our nation and Border Patrol personnel as well as to the security of the American people,” DHS said.
As to whether the caravan will be let into the U.S., DHS said, “We will not allow a large group of illegal migrants attempt to enter into the United States if they have no lawful right to gain entry.”
Those who qualify for asylum will be protected, while those who just want jobs or to reunify with family members do not qualify for asylum.