Another group of undocumented Central American migrants arrived Monday in San Diego, continuing a process that has prompted intense opposition as well as widespread compassion for the plight of the exiles.
The group of about 140 immigrants, who entered the United States illegally in Texas, were flown into Lindbergh Field late this morning and then bused to a U.S. Border Patrol facility in San Ysidro for processing.
On Tuesday, an initial group of the same size arrived in San Diego and were driven to Murrieta, where crowds of angry protesters blocked their entrance to a Border Patrol facility, prompting authorities to take them instead to San Ysidro.
The departure of the migrants from the Riverside area marked a victory for the roughly two dozen protesters who had gathered to decry the foreigners’ arrival there, many waving flags and others carrying signs reading “Stop Illegal Immigration” and “Return to Sender.”
Protesters have continued gathering at the Border Patrol facility in Murrieta. Some clashed with police on Friday while waiting to see if more migrants would be arriving.
The migrants, many of them women and children, are among tens of thousands of citizens of Central American countries who have poured into the United States via Texas this year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
The Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector has been overwhelmed by the arrivals, prompting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to seek other locations to send them until their cases can be assessed.
Federal officials initially set Riverside County as the end point for processing the migrants.
Murrieta Mayor Alan Long told concerned residents during a town hall meeting last week that the city had coordinated with the Border Patrol to ensure that the anticipated influx didn’t create an untenable situation locally.
He expressed frustration that the federal government was moving its “headache” to Riverside County but assured residents that those set to arrive didn’t have criminal backgrounds.
— City News Service