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Southwest RivCo Lawmaker to Governor: Tell Feds to Stop Migrant Transfers

"Local government, including the County of Riverside, Murrieta and its surrounding municipalities, were not given adequate time or the resources necessary to prepare for such a massive influx..." Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, said.

Buses carrying illegal immigrants arrived in Murrieta around 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Photo courtesy: DailySoCal.com
Buses carrying illegal immigrants arrived in Murrieta around 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Photo courtesy: DailySoCal.com

Editor's Note:  This story has been updated to include a response from the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

A California lawmaker Wednesday urged the governor to insist that the Department of Homeland Security forgo future plans to transfer bus loads of migrants to a Murrieta Border Patrol facility, in the interest of public safety and the preservation of "state sovereignty."

"Local government, including the County of Riverside, Murrieta and its surrounding municipalities, were not given adequate time or the resources necessary to prepare for such a massive influx -- forced upon them by the very agency designed to protect them from these exact circumstances," Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, said in a letter forwarded Wednesday to Gov. Jerry Brown.

"I am sure you can appreciate the budgetary and public safety concerns associated with this ongoing practice," Melendez wrote. "I humbly request that, in accordance with the oath that (you) took upon assuming elected office, that you act in defense of the local families of Murrieta and for the health and dignity of those being transported cross-country in squalid conditions due to limited federal resources in Texas."

Melendez's request comes on the heels of protests and counter-protests in Murrieta over the Obama administration's transfers of undocumented immigrants from Texas to southwest Riverside County, where they were to be processed before being released to stay with friends, family and support groups throughout the region.

Buses full of asylum-seekers were blocked from entering the Border Patrol processing center in the area of Guava Street and Madison Avenue early last week. Protesters bearing American flags and other patriotic symbols stood in the buses' paths, shouting for them to turn around.

Tensions escalated ahead of the July 4th weekend, when pro-immigrant groups formed their own lines. Police arrested five people for obstructing and committing battery on law enforcement officers trying to maintain order. None of those arrested were from the local area.

"It is my understanding that the Border Patrol, under the direction of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, will continue to transport 140 undocumented Central American immigrants to Murrieta every 72 hours," Melendez wrote in her letter to the governor. "The need for a cessation of this unprecedented violation of state sovereignty must not be blurred by the size and scope of your view from Sacramento."

Melendez requested that Brown confront Johnson about whether he intends to carry on the "misguided relocation strategy" and for how long. If it continues, Melendez said, the governor should "immediately assess and make available state resources to ensure that public safety does not continue to be threatened by this deliberate federal blunder."

"I ask this so that the people of Murrieta can ... get an idea as to how long their neighborhoods will serve as the pit of such an ignominious international affair," Melendez wrote.

Nancy Ward, chief deputy director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, released a statement this afternoon saying that "while the situation remains the primary responsibility of the federal government, our office continues to work closely with both federal and local law enforcement officials."

She said local "CHP officers assisted with limited crowd and traffic control at the request of local officials. We will continue to offer assistance to local law enforcement as it's needed."

The undocumented immigrants, who for now are being diverted to a Border Patrol facility in San Ysidro, have been identified by the government as citizens of Central American countries fleeing to the U.S. to escape unspecified conflicts.

Border enforcement advocates have told City News Service there's no way to know for certain who the migrants are, or where they're from, without in- depth background checks.

According to the Obama administration, the transferees are being transported from Texas's Rio Grande Valley, where around 40,000 have surrendered at the U.S.-Mexico border since the beginning of the year.

According to Immigration & Customs Enforcement officials, many of the transferees will be freed to stay with sympathetic groups until their cases can be adjudicated.

Ira Mehlman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform and William Gheen with Americans for Legal Immigration both told City News Service that the transfers appeared to be 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.

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– City News Service. 



ChrisG July 10, 2014 at 04:59 PM
@A Sunberg, it is not okay with any of us that illegal aliens are let loose in any neighborhood before they have an immigration hearing. Most of these people are not eligible to remain in the the United States and will be deported. Why do you not understand that is our issue? It is not that they would be let go in Murrieta. It was that they are being let go period.
A Sundberg July 10, 2014 at 05:06 PM
You misunderstood me, my point was that they will not stay in Murrieta, people from Elsinore, Hemet, Perris & Corona better be ready because that is where they are going to land.
ChrisG July 10, 2014 at 06:34 PM
@A Sunberg, it seems you have missed the point. We do not want these illegal aliens in any of our communities. This is not about Murrieta. This is about releasing illegal aliens into our country before they have had an immigration hearing to determine if they are eligible for entry or if they need to be deported. Also, many are sick. School is starting soon. Want your kids or neighbor kids sitting next to a kid with scabies and lice? How about TB? Wise up.
trueconservative July 10, 2014 at 08:01 PM
According to the Obama administration, the transferees are being transported from Texas's Rio Grande Valley, where around 40,000 have surrendered at the U.S.-Mexico border since the beginning of the year. This figure only is for the children. Yesterday Obama said they apprehended all of these illegals, today they surrendered. We all read the news and know they have come her gladly to come to the US be accepted and fed, clothed, educated and cared for. This is what Obama spent millions of dollars advertising for. Now he continues to blackmail Congress give him billions to facilitate his crazy scheme. The American citizens, taxpayers and legal immigrants lose no matter how you look at it. Obama wants to know how long it will take Congress to pass his request for money. The American people want to know when Obama will secure the border and follow the laws regarding deportation. THE LAW FOR NOT DEPORTING ILLEGALLY TRAFFICKED CHILDREN ISN'T EVEN IN THE PROCESS TO BE CHANGED. THIS WAS NOT INCLUDED IN WHAT OBAMA REQUESTED, LEFT OUT INTENTIONALLY. HE WILL NOT DEPORT. HE HAS MADE THIS DECISION ON THE BACK OF THE TAXPAYERS.
Jane Doe July 11, 2014 at 11:22 AM
America just opened the doors for immigrants to cheat the system where now the U.S. citizens can't afford medical , or a college degree. Free appllications for college are granted for illegals as long as they have graduated from a highschool or have done three years of highschool. Its easy for illegals to go to our schools because they just need a card with their name on it from a library.Well its really easy to get a card with your name on it from a local community store. Then if they don't have enough money to go to college they are granted government money to go to UCLA or USC, Fullerton all the California colleges grant free rides. The problem is after they receive their college degree and say they are making a better place for America (Not admitting they got in for free) pass with a C as a doctor and Wow they make it sound like they struggled. But yet the American people can't afford for their own kids going because they only qualify to make payments for their children with $1,600. a month for them to go to college. Why should the AMerican people have to pay when they legally are paying their taxes, and getting by with paying for everything.

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