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 SessionsMedill dean 'deeply troubled by the vicious bullying and badgering' of student journalists Trump has considered firing official who reported whistleblower complaint to Congress: report Northwestern student paper apologizes for coverage of 'traumatic' Jeff Sessions event 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 NielsenDivided Supreme Court leans toward allowing Trump to end DACA Five things to watch at Supreme Court's DACA hearings This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry 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 TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report 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.