Twenty-five MS-13 gang members were discovered embedded within a migrant caravan that was in Mexico, awaiting entry to the United States.
Ten of the 25 were discovered two weeks ago by Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM), as the 1,800-member Central American migrant caravan arrived in the Mexican city of Piedras Negras, right across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, Fox News reported.
Fifteen more of the gang members were discovered after they fought with Mexican police in a warehouse where the migrants were being held, INM Media Deputy Director Aline Juarez told Fox News. The gang members were angry that they couldn’t leave the warehouse, and video shows a scuffle where those inside the shelter are lifting a table up and tossing it toward police.
At least 25 MS-13 gang members were caught within the caravan heading toward the U.S. border. We have to secure our border with physical barriers and protect the American people. https://t.co/Y5ZI0WsUrG
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) February 20, 2019
According to the Los Angeles Times, when the riots broke out at the warehouse migrants threw pipes, tables, chairs, and parts of a tent.
The gang members apprehended were all deported from Mexico.
Seventy other migrants were also deported back to Central America, while about 1,500 were given humanitarian visas, allowing them to move around freely in Mexico. It happened after Mexican officials provided buses to bring the migrants from Saltillo to Piedras Negras, Fox reported.
U.S. officials process about 15 asylum seekers per day at the Eagle Pass border crossing port, but increased that to 20 after the arrival of the caravan.
Piedras Negras city spokesman Manuel Gamez Reyes told the Los Angeles Times it costs the city $260,000 to operate the factory as a shelter for migrants.
“Nobody wants them in their cities because it’s a lot of spending,” Gamez Reyes told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s better for us if they leave. We’re a small city. We can’t afford the costs.”
Another day, another example of the crisis we face at our southern border. This is why @realDonaldTrump needed to take action to secure our border and protect American communities. https://t.co/mxTfOGobst
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 19, 2019
A 29-year-old man who was deported during the migrant caravan trip to Tijuana in December, returned in the current caravan. Mexico allowed him to leave the shelter with a temporary visa. He wants to use it to find work and earn the $6,000 he thinks he will need to pay a smuggler to get him into the United States, the LA Times reported.
The LA Times article also reported on other people who escaped the shelter in order to try to cross the border illegally through the Rio Grande.
The Associated Press reported that the Piedras Negras migrant shelter had been closed, and Mexican officials confirmed it had closed on Feb. 19, a day earlier than planned. Many of the migrants there were bussed to other places.
Officials in Ciudad Juarez were not happy about migrants being bussed to their city from Piedras Negras. Officials made a gymnasium into a temporary shelter to house them. They feel Piedras Negras officials are dumping the migrants on them.
They claimed Piedras Negras authorities lured the migrants by claiming Ciudad Juarez would an easier place to cross the border, since it sits across from El Paso, Texas.
“They are promoting this by saying that 150 to 200 people are entering here per day, which is a complete lie,” said Ciudad Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada, via the Associated Press. “They are doing this to shove their problem off on us, and that is not fair.”
On Jan. 24, Fox reported that over 100 gang members from El Salvador have been arrested at the border since October. The same article reported that since the government shutdown began, border authorities in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector had arrested over 14,000 illegal immigrants, confiscated 14,000 pounds of marijuana, and seized over 800 pounds of cocaine.