Murrieta grabs national spotlight on immigration issue – A national crisis lands on the Valley’s doorsteps

Murrieta residents have driven a line on the national immigration crisis, catching the federal government off guard earlier this week by forcing buses of illegal immigrants, many from Central America, to recede.

This rerouting of immigrants brought on by protesters thrust the city onto a national center stage. A stage set with many players from city, state and federal levels.

Close to a thousand people ascended into Murrieta Mesa High School’s auditorium Wednesday evening. They passed caravans of news trucks, fire trucks and strategically positioned police officers to seek information on the immigration crisis. It was standing room only inside the auditorium, which could only seat 750 people.

A few hundred more people stood outside and debated, waved signs and pleaded to officers to let them in to speak to a panel of local and national officials.

The panel was formed to speak about a controversial plan to process immigrants detained in Texas at the Murrieta U.S. Border Patrol facility. Murrieta Mayor Alan Long called for the town meeting as an effort to create a regional voice in Washington D.C. on the need to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States’ borders.

Council member Rick Gibbs said the Murrieta Border Patrol Station was made for detaining the mules and drug cartel traveling along the 1-15.

“If you are worried about humanitarian efforts you don’t put mothers and children in jail,” Gibbs said. “I have toured the Murrieta station; it has a steel bench to sleep on, concrete floors, two toilets that are exposed to everyone.”

Gibbs said it was serendipity as he was having lunch with Congressman Ken Calvert the day the city found out about the migrants coming to Murrieta and Calvert starting looking into rumors. Calvert also wrote a response immediately stating his position and outrage with the Obama administration and their handling of the federal issue.

“The press keeps trying to get people to say we are racist in Murrieta; we have a population that is 27 percent Hispanic and we have Hispanic council members,” Gibbs said. “Our reason to be against this is our services; the facilities here are a jail.”

“We are doing two things: standing up for the constitution, and treating these people humanely, ” he said “And putting them in jail is not humane.”

Mayor Long told the crowd his wife is 100 percent Hispanic and talked about his father in-law who migrated legally to the United States.

“We are not against immigration; just come here the right way,” Long said.

Federal officials reported close to 240,000 migrants and 52,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border illegally in recent months in the Rio Grande Valley.

The migrants are being transported to various cities around the country to help with processing but so far, Murrieta is the only place that has turned them away.

Riverside County’s Health Officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, addressed citizens’ concerns over the health of the migrants. He told the crowd if they were worried about measles and pertussis coming into the United States from the illegal immigrants, he had news for them.

“These diseases are already here and now would be a good time to get vaccinated,” Kaiser said.

The crowd asked the panel how some migrants passed the medical screening if they were ill at the airport in Texas. San Diego Sector Chief Paul Beeson reported four children were sent to local hospitals this week, two with a fever and two with scabies.

Residents questioned David Jennings, the Southern California field director for the immigration agency, how the agency determined who would be released.

Jennings said, “Moms and kids with no criminal background will be released.” The crowd booed at his response.

Long stepped in and told the crowd, “Turning the bus around did not solve the problem in D.C. We need to discuss how to change this.”

The crowd also wanted to know how much the situation was costing the city in which Long said, “The city is keeping a count and I do plan on sending Obama a big fat bill.” The crowd cheered and clapped.

“Do I have faith that bill will get paid….no,” Long said.

A resident named Brianna told the panel she was concerned many of these immigrants will stay in community and add to the homeless population creating a safety issue.

Jennings said, “We will release them on their own recognizance. I can’t control what they do.”

“When are we going to draw a line,” called out another resident.

Long said, “I think that question has been answered I don’t see any other city in the United States standing up with a grass roots effort.”

“The borders broken piece is we are releasing them and hoping they come back,” said Long who added the process gets sketchy when the migrants reach ICE.

Another resident asked the mayor where Governor Jerry Brown was and whether he was invited.

We reached out to the governor we have not had a response,” Long said.

Supervisor Jeff Stone said, “We need federal representation; if they are not here, flood their emails and phones (to) stop the flow of illegals to United States. This is a strain on our resources and we need to take control of our destiny.”

“Are we going to have support these children who are here,” asked a resident to the panel.

Jennings said, “Yes.”

Long asked if these children will be vaccinated and Jennings said, “I don’t know; we don’t vaccinate them.”

“The lack of detail is a health concern,” Long said. “The laws are broken and that is why we are here tonight to fix this. We want to send message to D.C. we aren’t going to put up with this.”

24 Responses to "Murrieta grabs national spotlight on immigration issue – A national crisis lands on the Valley’s doorsteps"

  1. Aaron L. Rushing   July 5, 2014 at 4:39 am

    We already have immigration laws on the books, Now, let’s go by the book. Only Congress has the authority to change them. If, there are not enough border patrol to stop them, use the armed forces. The border must be closed. Send the ones here illegally home, and don’t let anymore in.
    I’m not a racist. I worked along side men that were of Mexican decent for over 20 yrs & had some that were in my bowling league and one that bowled on my team. BUT, the law is the law, and should be obeyed. Tax money, should only be used to expel the illegals and not to set them up as permanent residents. We have a president that is determined to circumvent the immigration laws, and the people will and should remove all congresspeople, that side with him on this issue. If I lived near this city, that stopped the buses, I would join them.
    Aaron L. Rushing

  2. D.Peters   July 5, 2014 at 4:46 am

    It’s just insane that the government has closed it’s eyes on the people that put them in office. This has gone on for way to many years and the whole country needs to come together and let Washington know that enough is enough. We are at war in a subtle way on our southern border and it needs to be stopped now!! The government has it’s noses in the middle east and everywhere else except of where it should be most concerned about. It’s own homeland and it’s people that elected them. We are a broken country with a broken government and the United States of America is going down.

  3. Aaron L. Rushing   July 5, 2014 at 4:55 am

    I made these comments, I used no unobjectional language, and I am a citizen of the United States of America. I am an American Veteran and try to obey the laws of the country and the state that I live in. I don’t believe that people from other nations have the right to come here and illegally change the laws that we live under. Many of the illegals are doing just that. I also think that if, you want to live here, legally, that the English language is the primary language and that you should use it in public. I still stand by the comments that I made that are awaiting approval.
    Aaron L. Rushing

  4. RON   July 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I spent my whole life doing the wrong thing, I worked, paid for my retirement, paid for my medical insurance. What I should have done was be born south of the border, get put on a train to the border walk into the great USA, get free medical (that is better than my HMO), get free education, collect goverment assistance, be allowed to go anywhere in the country and live a live as a legal illegal immigrant. Oh, and I can do this at the taxpayer’s expense. THANKS OBAMA.

  5. Kathy   July 5, 2014 at 8:37 am

    This is just WRONG. The USA cannot be responsible for what goes on in other countries. Their own countries need to make their own changes. If they are fleeing gangs and drugs – Do they not think we don’t have that same problem here? If the US wants to be such " humanitarians" – go to south central LA, and help our own get out of that lifestyle. We cannot afford all the illegals. They come here with nothing to offer to our society. Nothing. However, taxpayers will be the ones to house them, educate them, give them all their medical, etc. They go on welfare, and they just keep having babies. I don’t feel sorry for them. I already see illegals here walking around with 4-5 children, and pregnant? Come on. Enough is enough. And crying about breaking up their families? I am sorry, but I have three grown children in the military, that have been away from home for the last twenty years, and while they are out protecting our country, the illegals are invading us. If they don’t want their families broken up, go back home, and be with them. We need to stop this invasion, and secure our borders. NOW

  6. Rush   July 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

    good to see the GOP is keeping up with minority outreach program.

  7. Reality Checker   July 5, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Dont worry Aaron, your not the only one whose perfectly acceptable comments hit the cutting room floor. These local papers claim they arent biased, but conservative minded comments get the axe consisitently. Ive had several of late that got the axe while much more provacative liberal biased comments get a rubber stamp. Of course they deny it. Thats what progressive liberals do. They are high minded, know it alls, that certainly know better than you and think they have the authority to tell you what you can say and think. They just do it seripticiously through supposed "rules" that they say you must conform to. Ive called them out on several occasions. Ive seen them allow comments where libs directly call conservative posters ugly names and more. But, if we want to make an empassioned comment that doesnt align with thier liberal views, too bad so sad….you just didnt follow the "rules" dont you know?

  8. Reality Checker   July 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Personally, I dont think staff at the paper should be the ones deciding whose comment gets posted and whose does not. Its akin to putting a muzzle on people. They claim its a liablility issue. That’s just an excuse. They would jo more be held liable for someones comment than Obama is held liable for dividing this nation along racial lines. They are just progressive elitsist (in thier own minds) media who thinks they have authority over what people say and think. Arrogance at its finest. Blind arrogance.

    VILLAGE NEWS COMMENTS: Reality Checker, unfortunately you obviously aren’t in touch with reality when it comes to the newspaper business and legalities. Stop wrongly attaching labels to us when we are just staying within the bounds of our legal guidelines. You are welcome to believe what you like about the comments system, but it makes you look foolish. If you really read all the comments on this website, you would see that they run the gamut of every opinion/position possible from liberal to conservative to ultra conservative and beyond. If the comments are within bounds (wording), it doesn’t matter what the position is, it gets approved. Your intelligent comment recommending that newspaper employees shouldn’t approve or disapprove the comments made me laugh. That’s really original. Thanks for making my day. Debbie Ramsey

  9. Kyle   July 5, 2014 at 9:11 am

    The government will treat WE THE PEOPLE the way we let them treat us. Murrieta is deemed as weak, which is why we are ground zero for the dumping of illegal aliens. Get out and vote, America! Get these crooked politicians who keep the illegals out of their neighborhoods but place them into ours, out of Washington and out of our lives. The mayor says he is keeping track of what these illegals are costing us and will bill Washington — but does not expect to be reimbursed. He is telling us that we will not be reimbursed but that is O.K. because he tried. This is and will cost us plenty. That is money that could be used to improve schools for our kids and roads for us. The mayor should be the one in the middle of the road with the blow horn stopping the buses. Instead he and the Border Patrol leadership plays the pawn and goes along with Washington’s game. For what, promotions? Throw all of them out to the extent that we can. Do it with your vote in the upcoming elections.

  10. Louis   July 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    The US government by law must process illegal aliens into the country and give them a hearing to either grant them entry or send them back to their country of origin. If we are to continue as a nation of laws, not one of anarchy and despotism, then we have to follow the laws. Local officials have no jurisdiction over the functions of federal entities, nor what happens on federal properties. Local officials are not supposed to hinder the enforcement of federal laws and regulations.

  11. Stephen   July 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Aaron L. Rushing:
    "I also think that if, you want to live here, legally, that the English language is the primary language and that you should use it in public"

    I lived rented a room from a Chinese Couple when living in the Seattle Area… they spoke fluent Chinese with one another, but, if I walked into the room, they would immediately switch to English…. That would be called common courtesy.

    When I was in the Navy, it was against Military Regulations for folks to speak anything but English when in uniform and on duty.

    While participating, peacefully in some of the gatherings in Murrieta, there where those that chose to speak other than English while shouting, yelling and taunting those that they didn’t agree with. Note to those folks, try English next time. Then, I might have a little more respect for your opinion. Respecting your opinion does not mean I agree with your opinion.

    Thank you,

  12. Roy   July 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Perhaps the grandstanding neo-con local elected officials should push the issue with their federal neo-con elected officials and get them to actually take up this issue in DC instead of using the House to block any and all legislative actions that We the People need on immigration. I believe it is despicable and absolutely negligent of the GOP leadership to say we will not discuss immigration legislation this year. That kind of self imposed govt gridlock on this an nearly every important issue the US faces today will continue any year there is a Dem in the Oval office and a GOP controlled side of Congress. This GOP attitude is childish and unforgivable, and the reason I will no longer support the party.

  13. Anonymous   July 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    this is what the American gov been doing for the past "forever"- bringing criminals, protecting them, using them to commit more crimes for the Highness criminals of England And
    after "good" criminal job – REWARDING THEM! yes, belive it
    Or not – rewarding them while threatening live of VICTIMS!

  14. BUSTER DOUGLAS   July 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    "Can’t we all just get along" , I suppose not , my friends I am now long gone but down here looking up and surrounded by all my liberal friends we must tell you that conservatives are so naive , don’t you know that hard work , moral decency , ethical behavior doesn’t work in your world . To get ahead on planet earth you must sell your soul and join the democratic party , this will provide all you need to get over on your fellow man and hold no accountabilty for your actions , albeit for a short time……………………but hey have some fun . eternity is for losers…….man it’s warm in here . GO MURRIETA !!!!!

  15. Fallbrook Mom   July 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I am so sad to hear that there are so many people suffering from the oppression in their countries, and its nice that they drop them off in Murrieta, the epitome of upper middle class and high standards of living in the USA; however, there are plenty of us struggling in our own ways every day, and I think that the only way to fix the problem is to fix the culture that perpetuates the suffering. A lot of the children are coming from large families with an absent father and overworked mother, and there are no reliable methods of birth control and most of the populations migrating don’t have a high education. No offense, but a large part of the problem is the lack of access to birth control and lack of access to education. It would probably cost considerably less for the USA to fund missions to educate peoples, build homes for them, and provide birth control than it will be to fund the entire overflow populations and solve civil issues within Central American countries. And I don’t want to hear about how those mothers are the ones "responsible," because it takes two to tango, a woman and a MAN. I think using social media and expanding inexpensive forms of information to provide a realistic expectation of what the USA is all about is a far more efficient way than providing lives for millions of people while we struggle to feed our veterans and disabled.

  16. Fallbrook Mom   July 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    To Mr. Rushing:
    I do believe that in order to vote in our country you must be a citizen. So its your fellow citizens voting for the civil rights of our fellow humans.

    And to the rest of you, it is very hard to be an illegal citizen in any country. No, they cannot receive the benefits that you and I can receive, but their AMERICAN BORN CHILDREN CAN. That is because their children are AMERICAN CITIZENS. Not illegal immigrants. If you can’t stand their presence, propose laws that affect AMERICAN CITIZENS as well as illegal immigrants.

    Also, try renting a house, applying for a bank account, enrolling in school, driving a car, obtain car insurance, etc. being an illegal immigrant, because its tryingly difficult. In fact, a majority of illegal immigrants make up social security numbers and pay into taxes without receiving returns, and don’t ever collect on retirement etc. because they cannot. So while you have your "opinions" of what those people are actually doing in this country, it isn’t the reality of it. You can’t change facts, but you can chose to believe what perpetuates your side of the story.

    However, I do agree that if hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are "dropped off" in Murrieta that the community will suffer immensely. Busloads of hungry, tired, desperate people WILL steal, invade, and destroy. Human nature is to survive, and I would do the same for my children if Sweden and Norway were within a realistic walking distance, and any new child would immediately be granted citizenship. You bet in a New York minute I’d start walking.

  17. Preston   July 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Regardless about how you feel about immigration, a Nation that dies not enforce it’s National Laws will eventually fail.
    I have a lot of Mexican people that work on my ranch. I do my best to only hire documented workers but that is not always easy to check.
    They are the hardest working, least complaining, kindest people I have ever met. I need them because Caucasians will simply not do such demanding work — I pay them well and supply them with good food and drink and they show their appreciation by working hard. What ever it takes, they get it done.
    Obviously we have a serious conflict and the solution is not easy but if we Fail as a Country there will be no work so I believe we must enforce our laws and let the chip fall where they fall.
    Most of you that believe the economy is improving are simply misinformed. We have done nothing to correct the problems that caused the recession in 2007 and in fact we are in bigger trouble than we were then.
    We the people need to unify and demand our Government straighten up properly govern. That is what we are paying them to do. Most importantly they must follow the Constitution and enforce our laws.
    Aren’t you tired of having a Government that is an embarrassment to the World.

  18. Louis   July 5, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    My comment adhered to your rules: no vulgar or obscene words, it pertained to the specific topic of the story, and it was not derogatory in nature. The only conclusion I can make is that you are aligning yourselves with the protesters against the legal actions of the federal government.

  19. Intervention   July 6, 2014 at 1:59 am

    Kathy comment #5 wrote: This is just WRONG. The USA cannot be responsible for what goes on in other countries.

    Iraq, Grenada, Panama, Libya to name a few. We go to war on misplaced and misrepresented "humanitarian" purposes, cause hundreds of thousands of refugees and relocate a number of the citizens of countries we occupy to the United States. We import foreign labor for corporations. It’s a little hollow and too late to claim we aren’t responsible for what goes on in other countries.

  20. DK   July 6, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Well, Preston, you pretty much nailed it. When you deal with an illegal in a one-on-one basis, you will probably get a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. Many like you have such anecdotal experiences. But, you scratch below the surface to see what it costs the US taxpayer to provide essentially free medical, educational and social services, and you get a better sense of the gravity of the situation.

    As so many have stated here, we are a nation of laws. Too bad our elected officials (of both parties…over several administrations) have chosen to selectively enforce (or outright ignore) the immigration laws currently on the books. We don’t have 12 million illegal immigrants in the US because we diligently enforced the law. Quite the contrary. If we accept the 12 million as a "sunk cost," we can at least stem the hemorrhage by securing the border. Think that’s likely? I don’t.

    I would prefer to keep politics out of this, since there’s plenty of blame to go around. But, I will say to those of you who want to "demand" that our elected officials fix this situation… ain’t gonna happen. Our two-party system has given us virtual gridlock on immigration reform due to the realities of electoral politics. I have become extremely cynical and I think we pay our elected officials mostly to… for re-election. Don’t look for a solution any time soon. Ardent gesture by the folks in Murrieta, but they are urinating in the wind, as they say.

  21. Fed Up   July 6, 2014 at 11:32 am

    And why do we go to war? Why do we allow so many illegals? The usual reason, it’s not humanitarian, it’s "follow the money". Qui bono?

  22. tdave   July 6, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    DK pretty much nailed it. And the issue that I see is that "securing the border" is just not an option. The Berlin Wall was 70 miles long guarded by an entire army with shoot-to-kill orders and people made it through. How do we seal off thousands of miles of desert? I like the idea of cracking down on employers who hire illegals to dry up some of the demand, but the GOP won’t be going that direction any time soon.

    Here’s a quote from a moderately well-known Republican that sums up my feelings pretty well: "I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally" – Ronald Reagan 1984

  23. Kathy   July 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Fallbrook Mom…I totally agree with you that we should help these people to get along in their own countries. I believe it would be a much better way to fix this problem. Otherwise, it is just going to continue, that these people will all want to continue to flee to the USA. We need to secure our borders, and I truly believe that the 2 billion dollars that Obama requested for this issue, could be better spent better helping them improve their own countries.

  24. Kathy   July 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Obama finally addressed the issue today. It seems like he is communicating with Texas (R) Gov – Perry. I was not too confident about anything Obama said, because I just don’t believe him. He did state that this should not be about politics, but about coming up with a solution? If this is not about politics, I find it hard to swallow that Obama has so much spare time, to go down to Texas for "3" fundraisers. That to me, seems that this is about politics?


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