There have been numerous protests related to immigration over the last few years. There are those who advocate for immigrant rights, whether the immigrant is documented or not and there are those who support increased deportation and more immigration enforcement. The majority of these protests are peaceful and are only meant to spread a message and attract attention for a cause. Protests can involve hunger strikes, sit-ins and various other demonstrations.
However, there are some protests that lead to troubling outcomes. In the recent weeks, a protest in Murrieta, CA ended with an unfortunate event. As the article posted on The Huffington Post describes, Homeland Security buses were forced to reroute after attempting to transfer immigrant children and their families to a suburban processing center in California.
The incident occurred after Murrieta Mayor Alan Long suggested to residents that they should “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.” The majority of protesters were holding American flags along with signs demanding that these undocumented immigrants leave the country. The buses were blocked and unable to make it past the mob. Drivers were forced to reroute the buses and immigrants were instead taken to a customs and border facility in San Diego, close to the Mexico border.
In many situations, when an individual argues against immigration, it is because the person does not fully understand this undoubtedly complex issue. Take, for instance, the recent surge in unaccompanied minors coming from Central America. In this case, many of these children are migrating to the U.S. in order to escape “violence and extortion from gangs” in their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Once the buses got closer to their new destination, locals in San Diego began to react. At first, they were surprised by the three buses. One San Diego resident, Juan Silva, said that he assumed that the buses “were transporting drug traffickers.” After he realized the buses were actually carrying families, he couldn't understand the events that took place in Murrieta. “We're not talking about rapists. We're talking about human beings. How would they feel if it was their kids?” After immigrants arrive at a facility, they are processed and federal authorities will then determine which individuals can be released while they wait for their immigration hearing.
Not too long before the demonstration in Murrieta, a chartered plane had touched down in San Diego with more than 130 immigrants. According to an unnamed Department of Homeland Security official, this was the “first flight planned for California under the federal government's effort to ease the crunch in the Rio Grande Valley and deal with the flood of Central American children and families fleeing to the United States.”
The federal government is also expected to transport immigrants to various cities in Texas and an additional location in California. Hundreds of immigrants have already been brought to Arizona.
If you have questions related to your immigration status and are seeking legal counsel in Arizona, do not hesitate to contact my office and we can schedule and orientation to review the facts of your case.