Jul 1, 2014 7:42 PM by NBC San Diego

Protest blocks buses of migrant kids in California

Protesters carrying signs and U.S. flags blocked three buses carrying undocumented children and families to an immigration processing facility in Southern California. More than 100 undocumented immigrants were stopped from reaching the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's processing facility in Murrieta.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials turned the caravan around and headed southbound on Interstate 15 back to San Diego County. Their destination was unknown.
Some Murrieta residents have criticized the transfer of the women and children to Riverside County from Texas where conditions have been described as overwhelming and overcrowded due to a recent influx of unaccompanied minors along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Federal officials transported the women and children, some just infants, on an airplane that landed just after noon at San Diego's Lindbergh Field. It was the first of several flights expected to arrive in San Diego over the next three days, according to officials.

The undocumented immigrants were then bused approximately 90 minutes north to Murrieta, a city that has not exactly rolled out the red carpet ahead of the unprecedented transfer of children and families.

Murrieta Mayor Alan Long spoke out Monday against the plan, suggesting that national leaders "put a stop to it so we stop having to manage their headache."

Murrieta resident Sandy Pina met protestors outside the facility because she was angry to see the way the children were being treated. "They're on our doorstep. Now we have to do something for them," she said. "They're children."

The city council was set to address the issue Tuesday, too, and a town hall where residents can air concerns is set for Wednesday. Once the undocumented children are processed, they and their families will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. There were no plans to release them in Murrieta, Long said.

ICE officials said those who planned to stay with family or friends across the country will be transported to bus terminals or airports so they can go to their final destinations. They will then be required to report to the nearest ICE office, where their cases will be managed.

Donations were piling up Monday at the San Diego headquarters for Border Angels, a non-profit organization whose volunteers work to prevent deaths of undocumented immigrants traveling through the deserts and mountains east of San Diego.

Photo Courtesy: NBC San Diego on Facebook


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