Murrieta Protest Prevents Bus Full of Detained Immigrants from Entering Town

On Tuesday, three buses carrying detained migrants were forced to reroute after being met with a crowd of protestors in the small Southern California city of Murrieta. Demonstrators chanted phrases such as “go back home” and “USA” at the buses—carrying approximately 140 undocumented immigrants—as they entered the city.

Instead, the migrants were taken to processing centers at least 80 miles away in the San Diego and El Centro areas where they were met without incident. Originally, these Central American immigrants were being held in Texas, but facilities in the state are so overwhelmed, detainees are being sent to other states in order to be processed.

City and county officials in other regions such as Imperial and San Diego said they were doing everything possible to prepare for the deluge, which Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone characterized as a virtual “FEMA- event”.

Murrieta Mayor Alan Long urged locals to oppose the immigrant transfer plan before it began, and recently said that the city will be tracking any spending the city does due to the immigrant issue, and will be sending a “big fat bill” to the federal government. Crowds cheered as he said that change needs to occur at the federal level. 

Debates continued into a packed Murrieta high school auditorium meeting on Wednesday night. Border patrol and immigration officials were given an earful by frustrated Murrieta residents, one of whom called the incident “an invasion.” 

Mayor Long said that the problem was nationwide, but that Murrieta has “taken the lead,” despite it being such a small town. Long also took a moment during the meeting to address a recent video that has surfaced of a protestor spitting on a supporter of the immigrants. He called the action embarrassing, and said that it does not reflect the compassion the city has.

Read more about the protest here.