MURRIETA – A small crowd anchored itself outside the Border Patrol station in Murrieta today to protest the influx of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants being transferred to all parts of the country, including Southern California.
The roughly 10 demonstrators at the federal processing center at Guava Street and Madison Avenue caused no difficulties and did not require any type of police response, according to Murrieta police Lt. John Flavin.
The activists were part of a national turnout inspired by protests earlier this month against busloads of asylum-seekers being transported to Murrieta from south Texas. The buses were turned away and went to San Ysidro instead.
Americans for Legal Immigration, a political action committee run by Raleigh, N.C., resident William Gheen, called for a nationwide show of opposition to the migrant transfers, dubbing the effort ”National Days of Protest Against Amnesty and Illegal Immigration.”
According to ALI’s webiste, protests were planned today in all 50 states, plus the nation’s capital. Additional demonstrations are scheduled tomorrow.
In Riverside County, another protest is slated for 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Border Patrol station in Murrieta, as well as at the Murrieta Hot Springs overpass at Interstate 215. An assemblage is also expected at the Washington Street overpass at Interstate 10 in Coachella, according to the ALI website.
Gheen and other border enforcement advocates have called the migrant transfers politically motivated, instigated by the Obama administration to intensify pressure on Congress to pass immigration reform measures that many opponents have blasted as backdoor amnesty.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the transfers have been necessary to relieve overcrowding of federal detention facilities in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where between 40,000 and 60,000 undocumented immigrants, many of them children, have illegally entered the country this year, claiming refugee status.