With national attention drawn toward the illegal immigration protests in Murrieta, California that turned away 140 aliens transferred from Texas on Tuesday, a similar transport into El Centro, California proceeded with little notice.
On Tuesday, July 1, approximately 140 illegal immigrants captured in Texas, and housed in overcrowded detention facilities there, were flown to San Diego, California and then put on buses bound for the Border Patrol office in Murrieta, California for processing. However, the buses never made it inside the facility. As Breitbart News reported, protesters blocked the buses for about 25 minutes before the buses turned around and were later found to have been rerouted to Border Patrol facilities in Chula Vista.
Just a day later, approximately 140 aliens were flown from Texas to Yuma, Arizona, then put on buses to be processed at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in El Centro. This transfer occurred without much attention or protests like those seen in Murrieta and with no rerouting, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
The significant Hispanic populations of Murrieta and El Centro, as well as some in the agricultural industry, were noted in the U-T report. El Centro’s unemployment was pointed out as a very real problem, with a reported seasonal unemployment rate of 20 percent.
The story also documented varying sentiments of both El Centro and Murrieta residents on both sides of the issue. An American agriculture worker, Marjorie Storms, was quoted as saying of El Centro, “People help illegal people here.” The U-T reported Storms as saying, “El Centro residents tolerate, and some even embrace, undocumented immigration because many are from Mexico already.”
However, reports state that a large part of the problem with masses of aliens coming into Texas’ Rio Grande Valley lies more with their origins in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, as they are “non-contiguous countries.” Federal officials have said that Mexicans entering the U.S. illegally are more easily returned to Mexico; those from countries that do not border the U.S. are not simply sent back through Mexico.
Murrieta’s Mayor Alan Long greatly emphasized at a packed Wednesday night town hall meeting that the city is one of great compassion. However, it is essential that the U.S. border be secured. Long stated that Murrieta objects to the transfers, and he went on to express the public’s great concern over the impact on their community from the influx of illegal aliens that may soon hit city streets after processing and before immigration hearings.
Another plane of approximately 140 more illegal alien detainees from Texas are expected to arrive in San Diego on Friday, following a plan to send one group every 72 hours. It is yet unclear whether the detainees will again be routed toward Murrieta for processing or if other Border Patrol offices will be utilized.