Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins said Tuesday’s protest in Murrieta that turned away three buses carrying immigrant families was “shameful” and called on Californians “to show our compassion.”
“Turning away buses of women and children who were simply going to be processed in a federal facility is shameful. I know immigration is an issue that can evoke great passion. But as Americans we should always remember to show our compassion, too,” Atkins said.
A group of 140 Central American migrants who entered the United States illegally were flown from Texas to Lindbergh Field Tuesday and then bused to a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Riverside County, where crowds of angry protesters prompted authorities to take them instead to San Ysidro.
The families were undergoing customs processing in the San Diego area Wednesday, with some children in the group hospitalized for evaluation of various ailments.
“We are in the middle of a humanitarian crisis that has seen thousands of unaccompanied children cross our borders,” Atkins said. “There has also been a surge in families fleeing violence and extortion from gangs in Central America. This is a complex problem with many parts to resolve, but we must not forget that there are real human beings at the center of it.”
Atkins represents the 78th District, which stretches from Imperial Beach to Solana Beach.