Group rallies to support immigrants' rights

There was a show of support Wednesday for undocumented immigrants from Central America who were turned back by protesters in Murrieta on Tuesday.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
There was a show of support Wednesday for undocumented immigrants from Central America who were turned back by protesters in Murrieta on Tuesday.

At an earlier news conference in San Bernardino held by an immigrants' rights group Wednesday, a woman named Dunia Cruz said through a translator that she fled from Honduras because of the violence there.

She said it was a very difficult journey. It took a month to make it to Texas, where she was processed over a month ago. She says she's now staying in Murrieta with her sister, not far from Tuesday's protest outside a Border Patrol station.

The 140 migrants who were supposed to be processed in Murrieta were instead processed in the San Diego area after the buses were forced to turn around. Residents opposed to people entering the country illegally viewed it as a small victory.

"We give, give, give. We've got to take care of our country first," said Wildomar resident Jackie Nemechek.

"If they do it right then it's OK, but to just cross like that, they're being taught to do this, and it's wrong," said Murrieta resident Ellen Meeks.

A union representative for Border Patrol agents said that of the 140 migrants being processed, 40 were under quarantine because of mites, lice and other problems.

The Department of Homeland Security did not comment.

Undocumented immigrants are supposed to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"They get a hearing in court, and then they can present their cases, either asylum or whatever they might qualify for," said Emilio Amaya, San Bernardino Community Services Center.

A town hall meeting on the controversial issue was held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Vista Murrieta High School. Roughly 1,000 people turned out with capacity for only 750.

Residents wanted answers from federal, county and city leaders as to why undocumented immigrants are being sent to Murrieta. The U.S. Border Patrol says 53 percent of border crossing arrests are in Texas. Agents there made 201,000 arrests this year.

"That's about 1,200 arrests a day," U.S. Border Patrol Chief Agent Paul Beeson said.

Related Topics:
news immigration Murrieta San Bernardino
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