Buses carrying undocumented immigrants were forced to reroute to San Diego, California, after protesters blocked their path, making it impossible for them to enter the Border Patrol processing center for which they were headed.
The protests took place in the town of Murrieta, California, where the immigrants were scheduled to arrive Tuesday morning. The initial intention had been to process the immigrants at the Border Patrol center, assigning them case numbers and running background checks on them before releasing them to await their deportation hearings. The buses, however, were greeted by protesters led by Murrieta’s mayor, Alan Long. Waving American flags and holding signs, the anti-immigration protesters blocked the road until each of the three buses was forced to head an additional 60 miles south to San Diego.
Long had encouraged residents of Murrieta to take issue with elected officials in response to plans to transport immigrants from Texas to California. Holding centers have been overwhelmed across the Southwest as immigration numbers continue to rise. Already this year, over 50,000 unaccompanied migrant children have been apprehended crossing into America, and the number is expected to rise considerably. This 50,000 represent more than double the total number from three years ago.
While the protesters in Murrieta didn’t seem to be met with any strong contingent of reform advocates, Juan Silva, a resident of nearby Chula Vista, seemed to disagree with them. He indicated that there may have been some confusion regarding the three buses, which were carrying predominantly families and unaccompanied children. Silva said he heard initially that the bus was carrying drug traffickers, and was surprised to find out it was actually full of children.
“I don’t think people in that town should be against little kids,” Silva told Fox News. “We’re not talking about rapists. We’re talking about human beings. How would they feel if it was their kids?”