Oversight Republicans: 'Hundreds' of migrants in caravans have criminal histories

Oversight Republicans: 'Hundreds' of migrants in caravans have criminal histories
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Top GOP House Oversight and Reform Committee members asked acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan Thursday to release information on the criminal records of people traveling in so-called migrant caravans.

In a letter signed by Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDOJ, Commerce slam House Dems contempt vote as 'political stunt' White House blasts 'shameful and cynical' Barr, Ross contempt vote House votes to hold Trump Cabinet members Barr, Ross in contempt MORE (Ohio), the top Republican on the committee, and subcommittee ranking members Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsLawmakers request documents on DC councilman ethics investigation House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (N.C.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Conservatives ask Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for census question GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall MORE (Ga.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Democratic staffer says Wendy Davis will run for Congress Democrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child MORE (Texas), Michael Cloud (Texas) and James ComerJames (Jamie) R. ComerLawmakers put spotlight on youth homelessness The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Live coverage: House Oversight examines Trump family separation policy MORE (Ky.), the Republicans say Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data provided to them "shows that hundreds of migrants approaching the southern border have criminal histories."

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According to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) report from October 2018 cited in the letter, an 8,000-strong migrant caravan approaching California had 660 individuals with criminal records traveling within it, including "nearly 40 convicted of assault or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon."

The letter also cites a January 2019 CBP report of a caravan with 3,300 members, of whom 860 had U.S. criminal histories, including "over 20 convicted of assault or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, nearly 30 convicted of sexual offenses, two convicted of violence against law enforcement, and one convicted of attempted murder."

In the letter obtained by The Hill, the Republicans ask McAleenan to provide the arrest warrants and court documents of "all migrants in the January 2019 and October 2018 caravans believed to have criminal histories."
According to a March analysis by the Cato Institute, incarceration rates for immigrants in the country illegally were about half that of natural-born U.S. citizens in 2017.

The Republicans in the letter also requested monitoring of caravans traveling through Mexico and daily summaries of federal human smuggling reports going back to 2014.

Saagar Enjeti contributed to this report.