Central American migrants who were met by protesters at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Murrieta were instead in the San Diego County community of San Ysidro Wednesday, and some children in the group are reported to be in hospitals being evaluated for undisclosed ailments.
The group of 140 migrants was flown from Texas to Lindbergh Field Tuesday. Members of the group then boarded three Department of Homeland Security coaches headed to the Riverside County USBP facility, but the buses re-entered San Diego County about 3:30 p.m. after a hostile demonstration in Murrieta in Riverside County.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack declined to say where the migrants were being taken, but by late afternoon Tuesday, the buses were seen pulling into a Customs and Border Protection facility in San Ysidro.
Border Patrol officials told CBS8 each of the migrants was being medically screened at the San Ysidro facility Tuesday night, and a few of the children were taken to hospitals to be evaluated for undisclosed ailments.
After being processed, the migrants will be turned over to ICE. Those planning on staying with family members or friends across the country will be taken to bus terminals or airports -- but will be required to report to the nearest ICE facility for case management.
Ron Zermeno of the National Border Patrol Council told 10News they will be sent to other Border Patrol facilities, which could include El Cajon, El Centro, Chula Vista, Campo, Boulevard or San Clemente.
Tuesday's departure of the migrants from the Riverside area marked a victory for roughly two dozen protesters who gathered to decry the foreigners' arrival, many waving flags and others carrying signs reading "Stop Illegal Immigration" and "Return to Sender."
Immigrant supporters also made a showing outside the Murrieta facility, and several others awaited the group outside the San Ysidro facility.
William Crumly told 10News he went to welcome the group after seeing the protests in Murrieta.
"It was a little disturbing to see these vulnerable people met with such negativity," he told the television station.
The group of migrants were among tens of thousands of Central American nationals who have poured into the United States via Texas this year, according to ICE officials.
The Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector has been overwhelmed by the arrivals, prompting the Department of Homeland Security to seek other locations until their cases can be assessed.
"CBP will transfer certain individuals to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Removal Operations, where appropriate custody determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing national security and public safety," according to an ICE statement Monday.
The ICE document specified that Murrieta would be the end point for "processing" the individuals, noting they "may be released with instructions to report to a local ICE office near their destination address within 15 days."
Following the standoff in Murrieta, ICE officials said that once the migrants are processed, they would be taken to a "transition center" in Riverside County set up by a faith-based organization that would help them arrange transportation to their final destinations and help them contact family members.
Republican Lt. Governor candidate Ron Nehring said in a statement to address the "humanitarian crisis" that the large number of Central American children being sent across dangerous terrain to illegally enter the country "are the victims of the failure of the federal government to create a safe, secure and modern border."
"Poor economic and security conditions in Central America, combined with the rumor mill and the existence of cartels engaged in human, weapons and drug trafficking have precipitated this crisis in which the children are the real victims," Nehring said.
He called for an improved immigration system that "serves our national and economic interests and respects our traditions of being a nation of immigrants."
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, took to social media to express her dismay over how the migrants were treated.
"How people wave American flags in protest to immigrant women & children who just desperately want to make this their country, makes no sense," Gonzalez said via Twitter.
- UPDATED: Undocumented Immigrants Arrive in Murrieta to Protesters Blocking Border Patrol Entrance
- Illegal Immigrants to Begin Arriving in Murrieta Tuesday
- Murrieta: City Announces Opposition to Illegal Immigrants' Arrival in Town
– City News Service.