More than 500 criminals are traveling with the migrant caravan that’s massed on the other side of a San Diego border crossing, homeland security officials said Monday afternoon.
The revelation was made during a conference call with reporters, with officials asserting that "most of the caravan members are not women and children". They claimed the group is mostly made up of single adult or teen males and that the women and children have been pushed to the front of the line in a bid to garner sympathetic media coverage.
“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," one official said when asked about reports that the U.S. government is planning to make asylum-seekers remain on the Mexican side of the border while their claims are being reviewed.
Homeland Security officials say there are currently 6,000 people in Tijuana waiting to be processed at the San Ysidro border crossing, with more on the way.
Those who have already entered the border city in the past few days have been met with an icy reception. The group's members are also coming to the realization that they could be stuck on that unwelcoming side of the fence for months if they try to enter America the legal way.
Adding to the increasing certainty of the group’s situation, the U.S. Border Patrol temporarily closed all northbound lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry early Monday morning as the U.S. continues to "position additional port hardening materials.
"Unfortunately, some members of the caravan are purposely causing disruptions at our border ports of entry," Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen 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."
Given the increasing attention on the caravan, and the insistence by top U.S. officials that the migrants will not simply be allowed to enter the U.S., the crowds in Tijuana reportedly may end up having to wait six months for their asylum claims to be heard.
“We have to wait — for how long?” Lenin Herrera Batres, a 20-year-old who left Honduras with his wife and 2-year-old son, asked the New York Times. “We don’t have the money to stay here for one month, two months.”
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum – who has referred to the arrivals as “bums” and questioned whether a referendum in the city of 1.6 million is needed to determine whether or not they should be allowed to stay – reportedly estimated the migrants may have to wait six months for their asylum claims to be processed.
(full article: here - source Fox News)