Department of Homeland Security monitors migrant caravan in Tijuana

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Department of Homeland Security is responding to the caravan of Central American immigrants prepared to enter the United States through the border with Mexico.

At least 600 people from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua are traveling to Tijuana, according to freelance journalist Jorge Nieto. About 100 arrived last night. Eventually the group will enter the U.S. at the San Ysidro port of entry.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen released a statement on the caravan.

“DHS continues to monitor the remnants of the ‘caravan’ of individuals headed to our Southern border with the apparent intention of entering the United States illegally. A sovereign nation that cannot – or worse, chooses not – to defend its borders will soon cease to be a sovereign nation. The Trump Administration is committed to enforcing our immigration laws – whether persons are part of this ‘caravan’ or not.”

RELATED: Migrant caravan heads toward US-Mexico border

DHS warned members of the caravan that they may be turned over for prosecution under illegal entry laws. Anyone seeking asylum may be detained while their claims are processed, DHS said.

“Again, if you enter the United States illegally, let me be clear: you have broken the law. And we will enforce the law through prosecution of illegal border crossers,” Nielsen stated.

The DHS statement encouraged those with asylum claims to seek protection in the first safe country they enter, naming Mexico as a possibility.

SLIDESHOW: Migrant caravan travels through Mexico

“While we are committed to doing everything we can on the border to secure our nation, we need Congress to do their job as well.  I join the President in asking Congressional leadership to work with the Administration to pass legislation to close the legal loopholes that prevent us from securing our borders and protecting Americans. I stand ready to work with any member who in good faith seeks to support DHS’s mission and secure our country,” Nielsen wrote.

RELATED: Hundreds of migrants reach Tijuana

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