November 07, 2018

Committee Staff Receives Briefing on Security Threats Related to Migrant Caravans

WASHINGTON – Following Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s request last week seeking information on potential national security threats relating to the migrant caravans headed toward the southern border, the Departments of State and Homeland Security today briefed committee staff.
 
“I appreciate the engagement of both the State Department and DHS officials who quickly responded to my request from last week,” Grassley said. “Keeping Congress apprised of any information relating to national security threats with respect to such a large group of individuals attempting to enter the country remains critically important. This information will help the committee address the needs of legitimate asylum-seekers who need humanitarian relief.”
 
Officials from both the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security participated in the briefing. The committee learned or confirmed the following facts during the briefing:
  • Some members of the caravans have criminal histories, including offenses like assault, gang affiliation and sex crimes;
  • Some members of the caravans are nationals of countries other than those located in Central America, including some from Western and Central Asia and North Africa;
  • Some members of the caravans are considered ‘special interest aliens,’ meaning they have been identified as potentially posing a threat to national security;
  • Some members  of the caravans have used violence against unarmed officials while traveling through Mexico, including throwing glass bottles, Molotov cocktails, and knives.
 

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