Photo: Immigration protest in California
A group of anti-immigrant demonstrators prevented the arrival of three buses carrying some 150 Central American immigrant children at the Border Patrol processing center in the California town of Murrieta.
Fearing a confrontation, authorities decided to withdraw the vehicles and the immigrants were taken to another detention center.
Authorities refused to say where the children would spend Tuesday night, but they confirmed that the undocumented minors will be processed in Southern California.
The first group of immigrants arrived on commercial flights to San Diego and were later transferred on buses to Murrieta.
It is expected that on Friday approximately 100 more immigrants will arrive.
The arrival of almost 50,000 undocumented Central American minors in recent months has caused detention centers in Texas to overflow, something that President Barack Obama’s administration has called an “urgent humanitarian situation.”
In the first serious incident resulting from the relocation of the Central American minors, anti-immigrant groups blocked the path of the vehicles and received them with shouts and threats.
Raymond Herrera, a member of the We The People organization, told Efe that the wave of undocumented immigrants is the fault of the federal government.
“Obama is making this bigger, sending the message that you can come to the United States, your processing will take 10 or 15 years, you will not be deported if you have U.S. children. This is an invasion,” said Herrera.
Meanwhile, community organizations also arrived at the Murrieta facility to provide support to the undocumented kids.
“We’re focused on orienting and providing help to the recently arrived immigrants. We’re going to be at the Greyhound stations so that they don’t feel they’re alone. We’re not going to let ourselves get carried away by the voices of a few. This is a nation of immigrants and it will continue to be,” said Benjamin Wood, of the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center.
Lori Haley, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that when immigration authorities have finished processing the migrants they will decide on a case by case basis if they qualify to be released pending a final decision on their status.