[guest post by Dana]
This afternoon, three buses filled with approximately 140 illegal detainees from Central America were turned back due to several hundred protesters blocking the road in the city of Murrieta.
Waving Americans flags and protest signs, the crowd refused to give way when the buses arrived with some 140 detainees from Texas, which has seen a flood of Central American immigrants cross the border in recent weeks without legal permission.
A small number of Murrieta police officers stood between the protesters and the buses but could not keep the crowd from blocking the buses’ path.
The face-off came one day after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to protest the federal government’s decision to move the recent immigrants who arrived in the country illegally — and have overwhelmed Texas border facilities — to the Border Patrol station in his city.
“Murrieta expects our government to enforce our laws, including the deportation of illegal immigrants caught crossing our borders, not disperse them into our local communities,” Long said Monday at a news conference. The city had defeated two previous attempts to send migrants to the facility, he said.
A local Los Angeles radio station is reporting that callers followed the three buses on the freeway heading south from Murrieta, presumably back to San Diego.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released an update on the situation this afternoon:
“Once DHS personnel in Murrieta finish processing the migrants, those who are being released will be transported by LA [Enforcement and Removal Operations] to a ‘transition center’ in Riverside County that is being set up by a faith-based organization,” ICE Spokeswoman Virginia Kice said in an email.
According to Kice, ICE will not be immediately releasing the name of that organization, nor the specific city, where the people will be taken for the transition center.
“At the transition center, the organization’s volunteers will assist migrants with obtaining commercial transportation to their final destinations and help them contact family members and relatives,” she said, adding that the cost of those transfers will not be paid for by the government, but rather by the migrants or the faith-based organization and consular representatives.
Kice said that “in most instances,” the final destinations of the migrants will be outside Southern California. In the meantime, though, the unnamed group helping them out will also get them set up with food, clothing and any other essentials.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Monday the migrants are mostly “adults with children” and were among tens of thousands of citizens of Central American countries who have poured into the United States via Texas this year.
Also, Democrats are once again likening President Obama to Jesus with the power to heal illegal immigrants. From Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D):
If [Republicans] want to come back and discuss [reform], fine,” said the Chicago Democrat. “But in the interim period, I believe the president of the United States has already in statute, in the law, the ability to heal and put in a safe harbor millions of undocumented immigrants while the Congress of the United States finally decides it’s going to take action.”
UPDATE: I just heard Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone (Murrieta is a city within Riverside County) interviewed on the radio. He stated that due to the number of diseases that could possibly be spread as the detainees arrived in Murrieta, he offered to provide county mobile medical buses to be parked at the border station and medical personnel assess the detainees as they arrived. He was told no by ICE. They informed him that they could not allow mobile medical units to park on federal property. They also informed him that a request to FEMA for medical vans would be made. Supervisor Stone is very concerned, along with citizens of the city and elsewhere, about the spread of diseases and the potential for outbreaks, or worse.