Protesters Turn Away Buses Carrying Migrant Families - UPDATE of sorts
Protesters Turn Away Buses Carrying Migrant Families
Homeland Security buses carrying migrant children and families were rerouted Tuesday to a facility in San Diego after American flag-waving protesters blocked the group from reaching a suburban processing center.
The standoff in Murrieta came after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to complain to elected officials about the plan to transfer the Central American migrants to California to ease overcrowding of facilities along the Texas-Mexico border.
Many protesters held U.S. flags, while others held signs reading "stop illegal immigration," and "illegals out!"
"We can't start taking care of others if we can't take care of our own," protester Nancy Greyson, 60, of Murrieta, told the Desert Sun newspaper.
Many of the immigrants were detained while fleeing violence and extortion from gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
After the buses were blocked, federal authorities rerouted the vehicles to a freeway and then to a customs and border facility in San Diego within view of the Mexico border.
The three buses were trailed by a half-dozen news crews during the two-hour trip. People near the San Diego facility were surprised by the caravan.
Juan Silva, 27, a welder in Chula Vista, said he thought officials were transporting drug traffickers. Then he heard the buses were carrying migrant families.
"I don't think people in that town should be against little kids," he said about the protesters in Murrieta. "We're not talking about rapists. We're talking about human beings. How would they feel if it was their kids?"
After the migrants are processed, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will decide who can be released while awaiting deportation proceedings.
Earlier in the day, a chartered plane landed in San Diego with 136 migrants on board, according to a federal Department of Homeland Security official who was not authorized to be named when speaking on the issue.
It was the first flight planned for California under the federal government's effort to ease the crunch in the Rio Grande Valley and deal with the flood of Central American children and families fleeing to the United States.
The government is also planning to fly migrants to Texas cities and another site in California, and it has already taken some migrants to Arizona.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained after crossing the Texas-Mexico border since October in what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis. Many of the migrants are under the impression that they will receive leniency from U.S. authorities.
Another flight was expected to take 140 migrants to a facility in El Centro, California, on Wednesday, said Lombardo Amaya, president of the El Centro chapter of the Border Patrol union. The Border Patrol would not confirm that arrival date.
CA mayor who inspired anti-immigrant protests is angry at being ‘stereotyped' by video clips
Thursday, July 3, 2014 15:45 EDT
A California mayor who inspired residents to protest and turn away busses full of immigrant women and children said on Thursday that he was worried that coverage of the angry demonstrations were stereotyping his town.
After Murrieta Mayor Alan Long posted a message on Facebook about his opposition to undocumented immigrants being transferred from Texas, flag-toting protesters showed up to block the busses, and eventually forced them to turn around.
Fox News seemed to celebrate the protests in several "Defending the Homeland" segments on Wednesday, including a graphic that appeared to have been borrowed from Bioshock - a video game about "racist assholes," according to the AV Club.
And in one case, an anti-immigration demonstrator was caught on video spitting in the face of Hispanic singer Lupillo Rivera.
On Thursday, Long told Fox News video the protests that he had inspired did not show the true "compassion" of his town.
"I took the opportunity last night to remind everyone that, you know, showing clips of angry people really isn't a true reflection of Murrieta," he insisted. "There is another opposing side to this that is just as angry, and I think if you talk to them, they would agree that they want an efficient process."
"We've heard some of those passionate people seeing the clips on the news and coming to a conclusion that Murrieta's not compassionate," Long added. "It's a shame that two minutes of video time on the news channel really stereotypes our city."
Watch the video below from Fox News, July 3 2014.