On Wednesday, authorities revealed that they caught a self-admitted MS-13 gang member from Honduras attempting to enter the country illegally who had joined the migrant caravan to make the trek to America. On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security provided information about another dangerous would-be illegal immigrant who was serving time for murder in Honduras just four months ago.
“Homeland Security said Friday that a convicted murderer was among the members of the migrant caravan, and was caught trying to sneak into the U.S. late last week,” The Washington Times reports. “Until four months ago Miguel Angel Ramirez, 46, was in a Honduran prison serving time for murder, authorities said. On Saturday he was nabbed near the San Ysidro border crossing along with two other Honduran illegal immigrants, having just crossed without permission.”
Like the MS-13 gang member, Jose Villalobos-Jobel, 29, Ramirez told authorities that he was among the thousands of migrants in the caravan that is amassing at the U.S.-Mexico border near Tijuana.
DHS has emphasized that Villalobos-Jobel and Ramirez are not the only criminal elements among the caravaners: the department says that some 600 identified criminals have been traveling with the caravan, which currently numbers over 8,000 migrants.
“As DHS confirmed weeks ago, there are at least 600 known criminals in the caravan flow,” spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a statement, USA Today reports. “The fact that Border Patrol arrested a murderer within the first caravan-related apprehensions at our southern border proves how real the threat of the caravan is to our national security and public safety.”
President Trump has received a lot of heat for his characterization of the caravan migrants, whom he’s suggested include MS-13 members, criminals and likely terrorists. While the media coverage has tended to feature photographs of women in children in the caravan, the vast majority of its participants are young males. And while immigration advocates have broadly labeled the migrants as “asylum seekers,” reports have revealed that many of the migrants are seeking a better economic situation rather than fleeing persecution or violence.
On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the arrest of Villalobos-Jobel, a young male criminal who was seeking to enter the country illegally rather than claim asylum. “After a short interview, the man told agents he is a Honduran citizen and active gang member with the notorious Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) international crime organization,” the agency said in a press release. “The man also told agents he traveled to the United States border with a large group of people from Central America intending on filing for asylum in the United States.”