Migrants turned back by Murrieta protests processed in San Diego

Migrants who were turned back from Murrieta have been driven to San Diego, where they were dispersed to at least three U.S. Border Patrol stations, authorities said Wednesday.

The facilities appear to offer a short-term solution to the temporary relocation of the families to the San Diego area, which is part of a transfer plan from Texas that will go on indefinitely, according to U.S. authorities.

The stations, including ones in Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, are located near the border in areas with large Latino populations that are unlikely to host the kind of angry protests that occurred Tuesday.

And processing should be relatively smooth given the fact that arrests of migrants in the San Diego area are at a record low.


U.S. authorities on Wednesday also transferred a flight full of migrant families to Imperial County, 120 miles east of San Diego. They are being processed at border patrol headquarters in El Centro.

No protests were reported.

“Unlike the acts that much of the American public saw yesterday in Murrieta, today children and families being transferred to the El Centro Customs and Border Protection Station experienced a different reception,” State Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) said in a prepared statement.

“Federal officers were allowed to do their jobs in a peaceful and appropriate manner, and I applaud them for their professionalism and compassion,” he added.


Agents say the station is accustomed to processing many more people than the approximately 140 who had arrived.

“We are getting ready for this,” said Lombardo Amaya, the local union representative for the National Border Patrol Council. “I don’t see right now why we in El Centro ... would have a problem.”

Agents process the migrants in part to determine whether any have serious criminal records. Those who aren’t deported are handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, usually within about three days.

On Tuesday, a convoy of three buses carrying 140 detainees was forced by protesters to turn away from the Border Patrol facility in Murrieta.


The detainees, many of them women and children from Central America, had recently crossed the border into Texas and had been flown to San Diego by the Department of Homeland Security.

On Wednesday night, federal officials will join Murrieta city officials at a town hall at Murrieta Mesa High School to field questions from residents and address concerns.

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