The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton has confirmed on his Twitter page a previous allegation by President Donald Trump that there are criminals in the migrant caravan moving from Honduras to the US southern border via Mexico.
As for Trump's claim that there are also an array of Middle Easterners in the caravan, DHS only noted that they and other nationalities often try to enter the US through its southern border.
.@DHSgov can confirm that there are individuals within the caravan who are gang members or have significant criminal histories.— Tyler Q. Houlton (@SpoxDHS) 23 октября 2018 г.
The DHS remarks came a few days after Trump tweeted that "criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in" the caravan en route to the US border.
Citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.— Tyler Q. Houlton (@SpoxDHS) 23 октября 2018 г.
Earlier, the US President said that he was ready to send any number of troops to the border with Mexico to stop thousands of migrants from crossing. Asked by USA Today how many troops he was willing to deploy, Trump replied, "as many as necessary."
Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 октября 2018 г.
Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning, for his part, said that the US had not sent additional troops to its border with Mexico after Trump's statement. Manning confirmed that 2,100 National Guard troops are already stationed along the southern US border.
The US is pressing Mexico to halt the caravan, which the UN estimates includes more than 7,000 asylum-seekers, before the group reaches the US border.
The organizers of the caravan, which is currently stationed in the city of Tapachula in southern Mexico, reportedly said that they expect to reach the US border in approximately one week.