(MURRIETA, Calif.) — Murrieta, California, Mayor Alan Long has become a hero to the anti-immigration movement by encouraging protesters to block buses filled with migrants from Central America from reaching the local U.S. Border Patrol station for processing.
According to Long, he and other city residents are incensed that the Department of Homeland Security has told them nothing about the operation other than that busloads of about 140 undocumented immigrants would be arriving every 72 hours.
Long commented that “All our information is coming from a local border patrol office and at very last minute moment’s notice. We believe what they are telling us: they are coming here to be processed. After that there are a lot of gaps.”
The mayor says that no one knows what happens after the migrants, many of them women and children, are registered. Protesters believe that a sizeable number who cross over the border into Texas are either criminals or disease-ridden.
Since U.S. Border Patrol officials in Texas are overwhelmed by more than 50,000 people entering the U.S. illegally this year, Long says the federal government is trying to unload the immigrants onto other communities, Murrieta included.
Long emphasizes that he and others have nothing personally against people seeking a better life in the U.S. What they object to is “the process by which they are getting here and that’s what needs to be fixed.”
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Sarah Anderson, Deseret News
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Ed Lavandera, Boris Sanchez, Madison Park and Holly Yan, CNN