DOJ files charges against 11 suspected 'caravan' members for illegal border crossing

DOJ files charges against 11 suspected 'caravan' members for illegal border crossing
© Getty Images

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed criminal charges on Monday against 11 individuals believed to be part of a so-called caravan of Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

The DOJ said in a press release shared by ABC News that border patrol agents apprehended the individuals a few miles west of the designated border crossing in San Ysidro, Calif.

“The United States will not stand by as our immigration laws are ignored and our nation’s safety is jeopardized,” Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE said in a statement.

The 11 individuals charged in the case are accused of knowingly and willingly entering the U.S. at a time and place other than one designated by immigration officers.

ADVERTISEMENT

The arrests came one day after the group of roughly 200 Central Americans arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, they were unable to enter at the border crossing near San Diego, Calif., because the facility was already at capacity.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement that the agency began processing migrants at the facility on Monday, and that other asylum-seekers would need to remain in Mexico until space opens up. 

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' MORE had previously warned that the federal government would prosecute migrants who crossed the border illegally.

The group of more than 1,000 immigrants from Central America has made its way toward the U.S. border in recent weeks. Many of its members  broke off from the group in Mexico, with others planning to seek political asylum in the U.S. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE has used the caravan's progress to push for stricter immigration laws. He has repeatedly called the U.S.'s current laws "pathetic" and "a joke" when referencing the caravan.