“I can understand why the president and other people here are concerned about what is going on.”
Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Geronimo Gutierrez spoke to The Washington Examiner about the migrant caravan that is near our border.
While everyone bashes President Donald Trump over his criticisms of the migrants, Gutierrez confirmed that the caravan has people in it with criminal backgrounds.
The Department of Homeland Security estimated that 500 criminals have integrated themselves into the caravan. Gutierrez couldn’t confirm that number, but he agreed with the concerns shared by the administration:
“I think that those numbers, precisely, were, I don’t know exactly where those numbers are coming from but I do know we have strong cooperation with the United States to identify people that have criminal records that are coming into our region, and that just makes sense, and that’s an example of the good cooperation that Mexico and the United States have,” he added.
“I don’t know where that number of 500 – I’m skeptical about it,” Gutierrez said. “I mean, we share the opinion that there are people that have criminal backgrounds in that group and yes, the numbers I cannot comment because the numbers are, I just don’t think there’s enough clarify about what those numbers come from.”
Gutierrez disagrees with Trump description of the caravan as an invasion, but he said that he understands “why the president and other people here are concerned about what is going on.”
He also stressed that the caravan proves “that there’s a very significant need to address legal changes here in the immigration system and certainly also in Mexico.”
An NBC News report on Tuesday stated that DHS has paid undercover informants in the caravan. The migrants have used WhatsApp to communicate and the informants send the information to the agency. This information includes “the caravan’s size, movements and any potential security threats.”
From NBC News:
On Monday, DHS officials told reporters that their intelligence on Sunday night had indicated that a group of migrants wanted to run through the car lanes of a border crossing near San Diego. Customs and Border Protection shut down all northbound lanes of the crossing from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. as a result. However, the ambush was never attempted.
Paying informants, placing officers in the region or monitoring the communications of non-U.S. citizens is not illegal, said John Cohen, former acting undersecretary of intelligence for DHS, but it does raise some concerns about the allocation of resources.
“Those resources have to come from some place. They are not being devoted to thwarting terrorist threats, mass shootings, mailed fentanyl coming into the country or cyberattacks,” said Cohen.
Mike blogged yesterday that citizens in Tijuana have started to protest the caravan as migrants made their way into the town.
Protesters shouted, “Out! Out!” and “We don’t want them in Tijuana.” The process for asylum is slow as border inspectors only process 100 claims a day.
Tijuana is not prepared for the migrants:
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal government for more assistance to cope with the influx.
Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Saturday that the federal government was flying in food and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana.
Tijuana officials converted a municipal gymnasium and recreational complex into a shelter to keep migrants out of public spaces. The city’s privately run shelters have a maximum capacity of 700. The municipal complex can hold up to 3,000.
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