SAN DIEGO -- In a statement from US Customs and Border Protection, San Diego Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott claimed that members of the Central American migrant caravan have been caught trying to sneak into the country in the last 24 hours.
Buses carrying the caravan pulled into Tijuana on Tuesday and many people in the group will soon seek asylum in the US.
The migrants say they're fleeing violence and poverty in Central America and hope they'll find safety and security in the United States by turning themselves in to border authorities and asking for asylum.
But Scott and Director of Field Operations Pete Flores said Saturday that several groups of people from the caravan "have illegally entered the United States without immigration documents by climbing over the dilapidated scrap metal border fence" at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
"In several of these incidents, children as young as 4 years old, and in one case a pregnant female, were detected entering the United States illegally through a dark, treacherous canyon that is notorious for human and drug smuggling," Scott wrote. "As a father myself, I find it unconscionable that anyone would expose a child to these dangerous conditions."
The Border Patrol chief went on to emphasize that anyone entering the country without documentation will be prosecuted for breaking the law. Individuals seeking asylum should seek asylum in the first safe country the enter, he added, "including Mexico."
On the same day that border officials released their statement, activists held a rally and marched from Balboa Park to Chicano Park Saturday in support of the migrants.