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On caravan, Pence backs Trump’s claim Middle Easterners are in migrant vehicle

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Mike Pence
Vice
President Mike Pence on Tuesday said it’s “inconceivable” to
think Middle Eastern people aren’t among thousands of Central
American migrants moving toward the US.

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

  • Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday stood by President
    Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim there are “Middle
    Easterners” among thousands of Central American migrants headed
    for the US-Mexico border. 
  • Pence said it’s “inconceivable” there are not people “of
    Middle Eastern descent” in the caravan. 
  • Trump has repeatedly claimed, without providing evidence,
    that Middle Eastern people are among the thousands of migrants
    marching toward the US. 

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday stood by President Donald
Trump’s unsubstantiated claim there are “Middle Easterners” among
thousands of Central American migrants headed for the US-Mexico
border. 

“It’s inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern
descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people,” 
Pence told The Washington Post.

On Monday, Trump lamented the Mexican government’s alleged
inability to “stop” the caravan.

Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I
have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National
Emergy. Must change laws!” he tweeted.

In remarks to reporters on Monday, Trump told them if they
looked closely at the caravan they’d find evidence to back up his
claims. 

“You’re gonna find MS-13, you’re gonna find Middle Eastern,
you’re going to find everything,” Trump said. “And guess what?
We’re not allowing them in our country. We want safety.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended
Trump’s comments on Monday afternoon, claiming he “absolutely”
has credible evidence people from the Middle East are in the
caravan. 

“We have 10 individuals suspected or known terrorists that
try to enter our country every day,” Sanders said. 

Department of Homeland Security
numbers
on US Customs and Border Patrol apprehensions show
that “17,256 criminals, 1,019 gang members, and 3,028 special
interest aliens from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan,
Nigeria, and Somalia” were apprehended in fiscal year 2017. Those
countries are not part of the region commonly referred to as the
Middle East.

The statistics also show Customs and Border Patrol
“prevented 10 known or suspected terrorists from traveling to or
entering the United States every day in fiscal year 2017.”

A senior counterterrorism official
told CNN on Monday
 that there was no evidence that
ISIS or other Sunni terrorist groups are trying to
infiltrate the southern US border.”

Several right-leaning media outlets have suggested terror
groups could use the cover of the caravan to enter the US, but
there’s no substantial evidence to back up those claims.

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