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Thread: Border Patrol releases migrants in Blythe, Riverside County acts as 'first responders

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Border Patrol releases migrants in Blythe, Riverside County acts as 'first responders

    As Border Patrol releases migrants in Blythe, Riverside County acts as 'first responders'

    Rebecca Plevin, Palm Springs Desert Sun
    Published 10:36 a.m. PT April 19, 2019 | Updated 10:37 a.m. PT April 19, 2019


    Buy PhotoGuatemalan migrants who seek asylum in the U.S. are dropped off by Customs and Border Protection agents in Blythe, California on the morning of April 18, 2019. The migrants were than picked up by a religious organization in order to help them reach they families and friends that reside in the U.S. (Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)


    Just before 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, three U.S. Border Patrol vans pulled up to the Greyhound bus stop in Blythe, located on the side of a gas station. The border agents unlatched the back doors of the vans, allowing 28 Central American parents and kids to pour out.

    “Hola,” said several Riverside County employees, all in blue T-shirts, as they shook the migrants' hands. “Buenos días,” they said, wishing the families a good morning.


    The employees swiftly ushered the parents, many grasping their children’s hands, into county vehicles.

    Within minutes, county staff pulled out of the gas station parking lot and headed toward Blythe’s Seventh-day Adventist Church, where church members provided people with a warm breakfast, clean clothing and showers.


    This unofficial hand-off of migrants and asylum seekers has occurred nearly every day for the past three weeks, as agents with the Border Patrol's Yuma sector drop migrant families off at the Greyhound stop in Blythe, just west of the California-Arizona border, and county staff receives them. County leaders said they are committed to providing humanitarian aid to families, but they said they're reaching a breaking point.


    On March 28, Yuma sector Border Patrol officials started releasing migrant families from their custody, because their three processing centers — including one in Blythe — were overflowing with recently apprehended migrant families. The officials notified the Riverside County Sheriff and Blythe Police departments of their plans and within hours, county officials and staff were making plans over emails and text messages.

    Buy PhotoGuatemalan migrants who seek asylum in the U.S. were dropped off by Customs and Border Protection agents in Blythe, California on the morning of April 18, 2019. The migrants were than taken to Blythe’s Seventh-day Adventist Church by Riverside County employees in order to help them reach their final destination with family and friends. (Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)


    More: Coachella church takes in asylum seekers from Guatemala
    More: Coachella Valley sanctuary cities respond to Trump proposal: 'We welcome the immigrant community'
    More: Ankle bracelets, court hearings, no work, homelessness: This is what Mexican asylum seekers face in the U.S.

    County personnel has welcomed migrant families every day since then, and sometimes multiple times a day.

    They estimate they’ve assisted about 500 migrants since late March.


    As the number of migrant families apprehended at the southern border swells and the situation ripples into the Southern California desert, the county is committed to providing a “humane and compassionate response,” said District 4 supervisor V. Manuel Perez, who represents Blythe. But, he said, the effort is straining the resources of the county, as well as local churches and nonprofit organizations.

    “We’re doing everything we can to ensure the safety and health care of those individuals that are coming here,” Perez said. But, he said, “everyone is getting stretched a little thin.”


    Perez said the situation had not yet become an emergency but, “there’s only a certain amount of capacity, resources and time before … we will need that support. It’s not an emergency per se, but we know it’s coming.”

    In January, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 72, which deploys $5 million for asylum seeker assistance and immigration rapid.


    Across state lines, meanwhile, Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls this week issued a proclamation of emergency, saying the sector’s continued mass release of migrants directly into the border community had become an “imminent threat” to life and property in the area.


    On Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey responded to the proclamation, saying his office would “do everything … within our power and resources” to help the border city handle the influx of migrants. The Republican governor indicated he would not ask Federal Emergency Management Administration Officials to declare a state of emergency.

    Buy PhotoHeydy Cobon, a Guatemalan migrant, who seeks asylum in the U.S. cries as she remembers the children she left behind in Guatemala at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Blythe, California. The migrant was taken there by Riverside County employees in order to help her and her six-year-old daughter reach their final destination. (Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)


    The Yuma sector of the Border Patrol oversees 126 miles along the country’s southern border, between the Imperial Sand Dunes in California to the Yuma-Pima County line in Arizona. According to Border Patrol statistics, as of March, there were more than 24,000 family units apprehended in the Yuma sector during the federal fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. That represents a 273 percent increase over the same period the year before.

    When migrants are apprehended within the Yuma sector, Border Patrol officials transport them to whichever processing facility has room, sector spokesman Jose Garibay said. The sector has an overall capacity of 410 across its three stations, he said, but declined to disclose the capacity of the processing center in Blythe.


    On Thursday morning, employees with the county’s Behavioral Health department welcomed the migrants at the bus stop and transported them to the church.


    Employees with the Housing Authority, Social Services and Public Health departments are also helping to receive the migrants. Each day, Riverside County provides five drivers, three backup drivers and two behavioral health employees to the effort, according to county spokeswoman Brooke Federico.


    “We’re the first responders basically,” said Greg Rodriguez, the government affairs and public policy director for Supervisor Perez. County officials launched the effort, he said, because, “Blythe does not have the resources to deal with a situation like this.”


    At the church, a member of the congregation led the families, all with bowed heads, in a prayer.

    “Amen,” they said in unison.

    Church volunteers provided the migrants with a warm breakfast of oatmeal, toast with peanut butter and a banana. Then the families rifled through racks of donated clothing, grabbed bags of donated toiletries and hit the showers.

    Buy PhotoGuatemalan migrants who seek asylum in the U.S. were dropped off by Customs and Border Protection agents in Blythe, California on the morning of April 18, 2019. The migrants were than taken to Blythe’s Seventh-day Adventist Church by Riverside County employees in order to help them reach their final destination with family and friends. In this photo, the migrants take a moment to pray. (Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)


    Victorino Merida fled Guatemala with his son, 17-year-old Milton, because, he said, people threatened to kill Milton if he didn’t sell drugs. After spending days in two border processing facilities, he said he was happy to be free.

    Immigration officials released him with orders to report to a deportation officer in Massachusetts in May.


    “They’ve treated us much better” than the border agents did, Merida said in Spanish of the team that welcomed him to Blythe.


    The church members planned to house some families at the church, where they can accommodate up to 45 people sleeping on blankets on the floor.


    Maria Lind, an elder with the church and its treasurer, said the church has been dipping into its own funds to provide the migrants with food, toiletries and clothing.

    She is even putting her own money, which that she was saving for a vacation, toward the effort.


    County staff planned to transport some families to Our Lady of Soledad Catholic Church in Coachella, about 100 miles away. There, volunteers with the Diocese of San Bernardino’s Valley Missionary Program shelter migrants and help them purchase bus and plane tickets, so they can travel across the country to reunite with relatives and friends.

    Buy PhotoGuatemalan migrant, Jorge Alfonso Chocxo, thinks about his situation. The migrant, who seeks asylum in the U.S., was dropped off by Customs and Border Protection agents in Blythe, California on the morning of April 18, 2019. (Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)


    Late last week, the Washington Post reported that the White House had tried to pressure immigration authorities to release migrants on the streets of sanctuary cities.

    The proposal, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials rejected, was intended as retaliation against Democrats, the Post reported

    Supervisor Perez said Riverside County, however, is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the migrants, “regardless of how one might feel about them.”

    In Blythe, county staff echoed that pledge.


    “I don’t take it as a burden,” Behavioral Health staff member Guadalupe Ochoa said of her role assisting the migrants. “I take it as a blessing.”


    Behavioral Health employee Paul Lee agreed. He said the experience hit home, since his parents fled Laos during the Vietnam War.


    “They went through all of this, too,” he said.

    https://www.desertsun.com/story/news...rs/3496610002/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    DISGUSTING...SEND THEM ALL BACK!

    And we do not want the ones they left behind coming here!

    The numbers are through the roof! It NEVER ends.

    Send these Church people to their country...they can go pray there! They have Jesus on their soil.
    Last edited by Beezer; 04-19-2019 at 04:55 PM.
    Scott-in-FL likes this.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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