Last Tuesday, the center stage concerning how intense the Immigration debate in this country is getting was the Californian town of Murrieta. When Homeland Security buses carrying children and family migrant workers to a detainment facility located in the town, the buses were forced to leave after being met by protesters demanding all immigrants to be kept out of their town.
Due to the influx of migrant workers from Central America crossing into the country via the Texas-Mexico border the detainees are being transported to other facilities outside of the border area to ease overcrowding. In-response to this plan, the crowd of townspeople of Murrieta protested the arriving caravan holding signs which read “illegals out!” and “stop illegal immigration” to show their disapproval.
“We can’t start taking care of others if we can’t take care of our own,” said protester Nancy Greyson, aged 60, to the Desert Sun newspaper.
Orchestrated by Mayor Alan Long of Murrieta, Long urged residents of the town to make their complaints heard by elected officials about the transferring plan and how they should not be burdened by immigrant detainees.
“We’re a very small town here in Murietta, and all the sudden we have a national problem at our doorstep,” Long told CNN. “We had some local residents with some legitimate concerns. I think most of the angry people you saw were from out of town.”
After the protesters were able to block the buses, federal authorities had rerouted the vehicles containing immigrants fleeing violence and extortion from gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to a freeway and then to a customs and border facility in San Diego.
Once the detained migrants are processed, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement—also known as ICE—will then decide who can be released while they await deportation proceedings.
As the buses departed Murietta and embarked on a two-hour trip to San Diego the three buses were followed by a half-dozen news crews who were covering the story.
Along the way, a witness of the events named Juan Silva, aged 27, said from the look of the caravan he thought authorities were transporting drug-traffickers but not migrant families.
“I don’t think people in that town should be against little kids,” Silva said, talking about the Murrieta protesters. “We’re not talking about rapists. We’re talking about human beings. How would they feel if it was their kids.”
According to an unnamed federal security official of the Department of Homeland Security, the day of the transportation began with 136 migrants landing in San Diego upon a chartered plane. The migrant workers were a group of people picked in order to ease the overcrowding in the Rio Grande Valley where there has been an increase of children and families fleeing Central America into the United States.
So far, the government plans on flying more groups of migrant workers detained into facilities located in cities within Texas and California. Along with these cities, Arizona has already taken some detained immigrants.
Since October, there has been more than 52,000 unaccompanied children that have been detained while trying to cross into America after failing to pass the Texas-Mexico border. According to reports, many of the immigrants detained believed that they would receive some form of leniency from United States.
According to President Barack Obama, the increase of children and family border-crossing is a sign that there is a humanitarian crisis going on.
As for Mayor Long the protests are a sign of “concern” for the immigrant detainees, and the community’s protests are a form of its caring.
“This is a national problem, and the world showed up on our doorsteps. We didn’t have a lot of answers early on, and there were some legitimate concerns, health concerns and humane concerns.” Mayor Long goes on to add that, “People were concerned about the people, the immigrants coming here. Would they have proper facilities? Who is going to take care of them? How long is this going to be for?”
Whatever the true motives of Mayor Long and the townspeople of Murrieta what the overall concern should be is the continued ignoring that the detainees are more than just that: they are people. They are people who fled the dire circumstances of their home for the safety of another, not to be locked up in a jail cell and treated as criminals because of their citizenship.
Today, the American people are bombarded with the pressures of their world due to an economy that is not truly ideal because of the lack of jobs and the lack of a substantial pay with the jobs that are available to ease the cost of living. Because of these issues immigrants, the invisible civilians in this country, are condemned and made to be the culprit for these unsavory conditions. We don’t look towards those in power who continually manage to manipulate and work the system in order to safeguard their political and personal interest at the cost of the little man.
Once the true culprit is identified then maybe, just maybe, rather than screaming at a group of people who are seeking sanctuary in order to live we can shout at the people who are perverting their image as being a plague on this country.