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Overflow of immigrant children headed to SD

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The Border Patrol is moving forward with plans to transfer Central American migrants from the Rio Grande Valley to San Diego and El Centro. 

Hundreds of immigrant children are headed to San Diego and could arrive sometime this weekend.

An overflow of immigrant children crossing the southwest border has prompted federal officials to transfer them and some of their family members to Border Patrol facilities in Southern California.

One group that left Friday could arrive in Murietta as early as this weekend.

According to Border Patrol union representative Gabe Pacheco, every three days another group of approximately 140 people will arrive there.

But he says the facility isn't equipped to hold large numbers for an extended amount of time.

“Where do you house them? Where to do they go after they're processed? That's the bigger issue,” Pacheco said.

Earlier this week, the City of Escondido rejected a plan to house them at a facility in a residential area. The ACLU is now looking into whether that rejection is illegal.

“Where are they gonna go? Are they gonna be put on the streets? Where are they gonna go?,” Pacheco said.

According to the Associated Press, more than 52,000 children, mostly from Central America, have been detained in the US since October.

Many are fleeing their native countries because of violence and crime.

Enrique Morones of Border Angels says the US should welcome these children

"These children are turning away from a desperate situation - if we turn them away they'll die,” Morones said.

But Pacheco says the reality of what will happen is some will be released to family members in the US. He believes others could end up in juvenile detention centers.

“What we need to be doing is putting children on these planes and sending them back to their home country - that's what we need to be doing - not that its not heartless but they do have a place and they are breaking the laws and they are coming across illegally,” Pacheco said.

And a statement released by the U.S. Border Patrol says after processing, "family groups will be transferred to immigration and customs enforcement where appropriate custody determinations will be made on a case by case basis prioritizing national security and public safety."

And we've also learned Border Patrol agents from Southern California will be sent to Texas to help with processing there.

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