Border Patrol agents assigned to Southern California’s El Centro Sector nabbed an MS-13 gang member who had traveled to the United States border seeking asylum with the caravan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced in a statement Wednesday.
Saturday evening, agents encountered a suspected illegal border crosser just east of the Calexico port of entry.
Jose Villalobos-Jobel, 29, was arrested at approximately 6:09 p.m., CBP said.
During a short interview, Villalobos-Jobel admitted that he was an active member of the ultraviolent Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) gang and that he’d traveled with “a large group of people from Central America intending on filing for asylum in the United States.”
The man was taken to El Centro station for further questioning. At the station records checks revealed the man is 29-year-old , a citizen of Honduras. Again, Villalobos confirmed his story of his gang involvement and intent on entering the United States illegally.
The gang member will be sent back to his native Honduras, the statement said.
Rodney Scott, the chief Border Patrol agent of the San Diego Sector, told “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning that the government is in the process of replacing the old scrap metal border wall with a new wall. Scott said that about nine miles of the new wall is completed, but that about 14 miles from the beach there is no fencing whatsoever.
He also said that the situation south of the border is even worse now than it was on Sunday.
“Another 1,200 migrants have showed up in Tijuana,” he said, noting that they’ve entered the rainy season in San Diego and it’s “starting to cool off.”
Over 600 criminals and gang members have been identified traveling with the caravan, the Department of Homeland Security announced in a Facebook post Monday.
In the post, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the actions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Sunday, when a large group of migrants attempted to storm the U.S.-Mexico border.
“[W]e cannot confirm the backgrounds and identities of all caravan members which possess a national security and public safety risk to our country. However, at this point we have confirmed that there are over 600 convicted criminals traveling with the caravan flow. This includes individuals known to law enforcement for assault, battery, drug crimes, burglary, rape, child abuse and more. This is serious,” Nielsen wrote. “Additionally, Mexico has already arrested 100 caravan members for criminal violations in Mexico.”