Border Patrol Agents Arrest a Caravan Member With MS-13 Ties
A convicted killer and an MS-13 gang member from Honduras, traveling with the migrant caravan—which President Trump claimed included some ‘stone cold criminals’—were among others arrested in California during the weekend after they crossed the border illegally.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials stated that the first arrest was made at 6:09 pm on Saturday, when they were alerted of a man trying to enter the country just east of the Calexico Port of Entry in the Imperial Valley area of California
During interrogation, the arrested 29-year-old Jose Villalobos-Jobel told law enforcement that he was an “active gang member” of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha 13, popularly known as MS-13, a transnational criminal organization involved in crimes like drug trafficking, robbery, murder, money laundering, prostitution (including child prostitution), racketeering, kidnapping, and arms trafficking. He admitted having traveled to the US from his home country with one of the caravan groups coming to the U.S. to apply for asylum at the border.
The second arrest came hours later, at around 11 pm when agents detected three people crossing the border about one mile east of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. All three of them were arrested and taken to a Border Patrol station for processing.
CBP said that while interviewing the men in custody, agents discovered that one man, 46-year-old Miguel Angel Ramirez, was released from a prison in Honduras four months earlier where he had been held for a murder conviction.
He also claimed to have arrived traveling with the caravan.
All arrested men are awaiting deportation proceedings.
About 2,000 migrants who have traveled as part of the caravan are in Mexicali, just south of the border from California's Calexico. Another 6,000 are in Tijuana, just 100 miles west of Calexico.
President Donald Trump has since long warned of the dangers posed by the migrant caravans. One of his prime concerns is that the caravans are so large that each individual member cannot be properly assessed, and would necessitate stricter control at legal border crossings. The risk posed by hardened criminals and MS-13 members in the crowds trying to storm the border in Tijuana and elsewhere is what led the President to call up 5,000 active duty military personnel for assignments along the border.
President Trump’s fears are not unfounded. Kirstjen Nielsen, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, said last week that over 500 criminals are suspected to be traveling with the caravan.
Supporting her statement was the comment made by CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan who asserted, “We have information of participation of over 500 individuals with criminal records as part of the caravan. That (information) is gathered through direct engagement, as well as information sharing with our government of Mexico partners."
McAleenan pointed out that the government of Mexico had arrested more than 100 members of the caravan for engaging in what it described as "criminal activity" during their time in Mexico.
In a later statement, the Department of Homeland Security said, “We are now predictably seeing members of the caravan – which includes criminals - show up at the border and claim asylum. These threats are only going to increase in light of illegitimate judicial injunctions and loopholes created by Congress.”
Now that we know that the dangers posed by the migrant caravan are real, let us analyze the statement made by President Trump and former President Obama.
President Donald Trump: “There are a lot of CRIMINALS in the Caravan. We will stop them. Catch and Detain! Judicial Activism, by people who know nothing about security and the safety of our citizens, is putting our country in great danger. Not good!”
Former President Barack Obama: “They're telling us the single most grave threat to America is a bunch of poor, impoverished, broke, hungry refugees a thousand miles away.”
These statements make it clear that who among the two is concerned about the safety and wellbeing of the American citizens and who is trying the appeasement politics to come back to power.
The people of the US, however, are not so divided in their opinion about the caravan. Outraged citizens shouted slogans like “Get OUT," "No to the Invasion," "No Illegals," "Go Home," and "No more Migrants."
The support for Donald Trump’s hardline approach in dealing with the crisis was clearly evident when a crowd cheered a Mexican who shouted, “This is an invasion; what Donald Trump said was true!”
Another young man shouted, “We want this caravan to go. They’re invading us.”
The blunt message that the American citizens want to send to the caravan is: We don’t want you here. Leave now!!