A CityNews Update on Murrieta Immigration Protests

Five arrests were made outside of a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Murrieta on Friday as protests against the transfer of undocumented immigrants intensified. But, by Monday, the scene had cooled down, with busses that were expected to arrive in the city instead heading for San Ysidro. 

Authorities have not said whether Monday’s diversion to San Ysidro was planned in advance or if it was a result of the blockade. Protestors awaiting the busses’ arrival, however, said they still considered it a victory. 

“The city needs a break,” said Murrieta resident and protest organizer Diana Serafin. “This is draining the resources of Murrieta. I don’t want to see our city go bankrupt.”

The five individuals arrested on Friday were detained on a rarely-invoked charge of “lynching,” defined by the California Penal Code as "the taking by means of a riot of any person in the lawful custody of any police officer." 

The lack of busses in Murrieta did not stop the two sides from sparring on Monday. Illegal immigration opponents and immigration advocates continued to debate outside the Border Patrol Station, sometimes hurling insults at each other.

The City of Murrieta has become the flashpoint in a heated national debate on immigration. On July 1, three buses carrying some 140 undocumented immigrants were forced to divert after encountering angry protestors in the city. The migrants, mostly from Central America, have been flooding the Rio Grande Valley at a rate of more than 35,000 a month, overwhelming state and federal authorities. They were sent to Border Patrol facilities in Southern California as part of a federal plan to expedite processing.  

Read more about the situation here.