- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A caravan with about 2,000 migrants has arrived on the U.S.-Mexico border south of Texas, Homeland Security said Tuesday, delivering a warning that attempts to jump the border “will not be tolerated.”

The announcement came just hours before President Trump was to deliver his State of the Union address, in which he was expected to make the case that while the U.S. is strong, its borders are not.

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in announcing the new caravan, blamed Congress for the caravan, saying lawmakers must change the incentives that draw illegal immigrants toward the U.S. with assurances of lenient treatment if they can get on American soil.

“This crisis won’t be solved until we have comprehensive border security,” Ms. Nielsen said. “Until then, DHS will do everything in its power — with the assistance of federal and state partners — to hold smugglers and traffickers accountable, enforce our laws and keep American communities safe.”

The large caravans that reached the U.S. last year went to locations south of California, testing fencing and border crossings there.

But in recent weeks, large groups have been showing up further east along the 1,954-mile-long border, including New Mexico and now Texas.

There is far less fencing to impede their entry in Texas, and the Rio Grande, which serves as the boundary, is easily rafted or in some cases even able to be waded.

The composition of the caravans is usually families from Central America whose goal is to get a foot on U.S. soil. Under existing policies, they are usually quickly processed and released, then disappear into the shadows.

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