Department of Homeland Security officials announced today that over 500 criminals are part of the group of migrants stationed just outside the U.S. border, according to Fox News.
In a call with reporters this afternoon, officials said “most of the caravan members are not women and children,” and that a majority of the group is made up of teen and adult males. The women and children–they claimed–were strategically placed at the front of the line to gain sympathetic media coverage.
When asked if the migrants will stay on the Mexican side of the border while they wait for their asylum claims to be reviewed, one official responded, “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.”
In October, Fox News interviewed a caravan member who told them there were criminals within the group.
“Criminals are everywhere,” the migrant said through an interpreter. “It’s criminals in here. It is. But it is not that many. It is good people here trying to get through Mexico and then get to the United States. It doesn’t mean that everybody is a criminal.”
Fights have broken out between locals in Tijuana and the migrants, with reports of rocks being thrown as well as physical fist fights.
On Sunday, hundreds of locals protested the arrival of the migrants, chanting “Out! Out! Out!” and claiming the arrival of the group was an “invasion.”
Officials said about 6,000 migrants are in Tijuana waiting to be processed, with more migrants on their way.
It will likely take months for asylum claims to be processed by the U.S., with officials averaging 100 claims a day.