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

DOJ files charges against 11 suspected 'caravan' members for illegal border crossing
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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 SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy 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.

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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 NielsenTrump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Juan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America Trump taps Texas Rep. Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as top intelligence official 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 John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated 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.