DHS has also announced that it has closed the port of entry to all northbound traffic in preparation for the caravan. A federal judge on Monday, who was appointed by former President Obama, blocked President Trump's attempt not to grant asylum to migrants who cross the border illegally.
The migrant caravan that is amassing at the San Diego border contains over 500 criminals, the Department of Homeland Security warned Monday. Contrary to reports by the media and immigrant activists, DHS officials said, the vast majority of the migrants are men, not women and children. The reports come amid growing tension between residents of Tijuana and the increasing number of migrants that officials say may be there for months.
DHS officials made the claims during a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon reported by Fox News, which notes that officials said "most" of the estimated 6,000 members of the caravan gathered at the border are young men. To garner public sympathy, DHS officials said, migrant activists have tried to push the women and children to the front for the cameras.
Among the 6,000 migrants are more than 500 known criminals, officials said. Mexican officials expect the number of migrants aggregating in Tijuana near the San Ysidro border crossing to exceed 10,000 soon, and that swelling number of asylum-seekers will require housing, which the government says it does not have the resources to provide.
U.S. officials say they are addressing the crisis with "all legal options," but have stressed that the migrants will not be permitted to cross the border until their asylum requests are fully processed, which Fox notes could take up to six months. To help deal with the massive number of migrants, the department temporarily shut down the crossing on Monday.
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.@CBP and @DeptofDefense appropriately responded by blocking the lanes, deploying additional personnel and seeking assistance from other law enforcement and federal assets. #CBP has reopened lanes for legitimate trade and travel. I want to thank them for their swift actions. pic.twitter.com/eJVVuAs0w6— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) November 19, 2018