DHS Addresses Myths, Facts About Caravan

(Photo by Josh Denmark/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Controversy and confusion continues to swirl around the “caravans” of “migrants” heading to the U.S. Because it has become a subject of this Tuesday’s General Election, with voters across the country concerned about the subject, some politicians have used myths to mobilize the voters.

News reports on the caravans have taken on decidedly partisan tones as well. In some instance, reporters are making baseless claims in nearly hysterical fashion. As an example, FOX New’s Shepard Smith was soundly criticized for his baseless claim that there’s “nothing at all to worry about” regarding the caravans.

“There is no invasion. No one’s coming to get you. There’s nothing at all to worry about. When they did this to us, got us all riled up in April, the result was 14 arrests. We’re America. We can handle it,” stated Smith. Smith insisted that the caravan was made up of job seekers and their families.

Just days before, FOX News reporter Griff Jenkins spoke to a member of the caravan from Honduras , who was convicted of attempted murder.

In response to politically biased and fake news reports, the Department of Homeland Security has released basic facts about the “caravans” en route to the U.S. Southwest border:

Q: Do we know who is in the caravan?

A:  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.

Q: Are there criminals in the caravan?

A: Yes – so far, there are over 270 individuals along the caravan route that have criminal histories, including known gang membership.

On October 29, the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. described some of the caravan members as “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.”

On October 30, Mexico’s Interior Minister Navarrete Prida speaking on Radio Enfoque (Focus) 100.1 FM, confirmed that some criminal groups have infiltrated the caravan: “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.”

Q: Is the caravan only women and children?

A: No, reports on the ground from our foreign partners suggest that approximately 50 percent are single adults. However, 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.

Q: How many troops will be deployed to the Southwest border?

A: By November 2, there will be approximately 5,200 deployed to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Southwest border as part of Operation Faithful Patriot. This is in addition to the 2,000 National Guardsmen currently deployed for Operation Guardian Support.

Q: When do you expect the caravan to arrive at the border?

A: Current estimates indicate that the caravan could arrive between four days and two weeks (from October 31) depending on the mode of transportation and whether they make any prolonged stops.

Q: Why do you need to deploy the armed forces to the border?

A: 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. We have already witnessed these groups forcibly encroach upon foreign borders and have engaged in violence when confronted by those governments.

Q: Why are we seeing caravans heading towards our Southwest border?

A: Our nation is experiencing an unprecedented crisis on our Southern Border that is the result of loopholes that prevent the detention and repatriation of illegal alien minors and family units.  FY18 is the highest number of family unit apprehensions on record – it is more than 40% higher than any previous year on record. As a result of these loopholes, when illegal alien minors or adults traveling with minors unlawfully enter the United States, rather than being detained and removed, they are released into American communities. Once released, those who have no legal right to stay are almost never removed.   Knowledge of these loopholes has led to a dramatic transformation in the population of those seeking to enter our country illegally.

Q: Will you allow the caravan to enter the United States?

A: 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.

Q: Will the caravan be allowed to seek asylum?

A: Our goal is to provide protection to those individuals who qualify for asylum under our laws.  Individuals who want jobs or want to reunify with family members in the U.S. aren’t eligible to qualify for asylum.

3 Comments on "DHS Addresses Myths, Facts About Caravan"

  1. The largest source of migrants in the caravans is Honduras. In 2009, Honduras had a reformist president that the rich elite couldn’t tolerate. A military coup expelled him from the country. The coup was condemned with one notable exception: the United States. The Obama administration refused to call it a military coup, because if they had, they would have been compelled by law to withdraw military funding from the military regime, which was imposing a regime of brutal terror. Honduras became the murder capital of the world. A fraudulent election took place under the military junta—again, harshly condemned over most of the world, but not by the United States. The Obama administration praised Honduras for carrying out an election, moving towards democracy and so on. Now people are fleeing from the misery for which the US government bears considerable responsibility. As they do for fleeing Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, Iraqis – all those whose countries were – and are currently being — destabilized with US troops, bombs, and policies.

    If we treat asylum-seekers as criminals we might as well tear down the Statue of Liberty — erase those words that welcomed so many of our immigrant ancestors: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the tired tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” That’s the America my grandparents found a haven in. Yes, let’s “make America great again,” by honoring that tradition, and the US Constitution. Vote Tuesday as if our democracy depends on it, because it does!

  2. It is not a “caravan”! what is coming is an incursion. They are violent and they are armed and there are now 4 different waves coming. Citizens on the border are not equipped to handle these invaders. It is the government’s job to protect the border and protect US citizens and the States from invasion. The real question is who is funding these invaders? if they have money to travel several thousand miles, pay the cartels for their secured passage, and have cell phones they obviously aren’t coming to the US for “jobs”.

  3. WHY CAN’T THE MOST POWERFUL NATION KEEP THESE HISPANIC CRIMINALS OUT OF OUR COUNTRY?
    I WILL TELL YOU WHY… THEY WANT THESE UNEDUCATED DISEASE CARRYING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CRIMINALS IN THE U.S. FOR VOTES AND ITS A GREAT POLITICAL PLAY….
    ITS TIME FOR CITIZENS TO SUE THE FEDS FOR PURPOSELY NOT ENFORCING FEDERAL LAW.

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