Murrieta Official Warns Immigration Protests Likely ‘Every Time’ Buses Arrive

July 2, 2014 11:20 AM

MURRIETA ( — A dramatic scene in Murrieta that saw American flag-waving protesters prevent Homeland Security buses carrying undocumented migrant children and families from reaching a suburban processing center is likely to be repeated in the coming days, a city official said Wednesday.

Mayor Pro-Tem Harry Ramos told KNX 1070′s Dick Helton that the standoff Tuesday – which included several protesters holding U.S. flags and signs reading “stop illegal immigration,” and “illegals out!” – may occur every 72 hours as a new busload of immigrants are processed through Border Patrol.

Mayor Pro-Tem Harry Ramos

“I believe that there will be protests every time there are buses on track,” he said.

The standoff came after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to complain to elected officials about the plan to transfer the Central American migrants to California to ease overcrowding of facilities along the Texas-Mexico border.

After the buses were blocked, federal authorities rerouted the vehicles to a freeway and then to a customs and border facility in San Diego within view of the Mexico border.

At least 40 illegal immigrants processed are in quarantine for head lice and scabies, according to CBS 2′s Tom Wait. A Border Patrol agent told Wait another 140 could be brought to Murrieta on the Fourth of July.

CBS 2′s Kara Finnstrom reported Robert Garza, who was one of only a handful of protesters on hand Wednesday at the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol Station located at 25762 Madison Avenue, said he understands the difficulties of the immigration process.

“I know it’s a hard system to get through, but we’re a nation of laws, and once we start tearing down those laws, what have we become?” Garza said.

Ramos said that while he supports “the rights of everyone to make their opinions heard” he hopes the demonstrations will remain orderly.

“I was really disappointed in seeing individuals inside the streets and blocking the pathway,” said Ramos. “But absolutely, I support anybody who wants to protest, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on.”

Ramos also had harsh words for the treatment of the mostly women and children aboard the Homeland Security buses.

“What’s happening now are people are being put into inhumane situations, this Border Patrol station does not have the facilities, is not equipped to properly care, treat, screen these individuals,” he said. “The living conditions are unacceptable, and this is going on from the border all the way up.”

Protesters are set to attend a town hall meeting on the issue scheduled for Wednesday night.