Migrant families sent to San Ysidro after protests in Murrieta - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Migrant families sent to San Ysidro after protests in Murrieta

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Three buses, carrying migrant families, were re-routed to a San Ysidro Border Patrol facility Tuesday after a crowd of protesters in Murrieta blocked the vehicles and forced them to turn around.

Early Wednesday morning, one of three Homeland Security buses left the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Office in San Ysidro to an undisclosed location. Authorities have been tight-lipped about why they left and their destination. The remaining undocumented families and children are being held in San Ysidro.

The Ameristar charter flight from Texas, carrying the 140 migrants from Central America, arrived in San Diego around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday at Lindbergh Field's Landmark Aviation. Several of the migrants were mothers with small children.

Tuesday afternoon, Homeland Security buses transported them to Murrieta in Riverside County, where they were met by a crowd of protesters chanting "USA" and "Go back home." The protesters refused to clear the roadway, forcing the buses to turn around and head back into San Diego County and to a Border Patrol station on Beyer Boulevard in San Ysidro.

Once they arrived in San Ysidro, the migrants were also given a chance to shower or bathe, eat and get some rest.

One Border Patrol official told CBS News 8 that the migrants were each being medically screened Tuesday evening, and that a few of the children were taken to local hospitals for evaluation. It was not clear exactly why they were taken to the hospital or what potential conditions they had.

This was the first of several migrant transfers. More groups currently located at the Texas-Mexico border are expected to be sent to Southern California every few days. It was not clear how many migrants would be sent to the area.

Some Southern California residents are outraged, and even the mayor of Murrieta objected to migrant families originally being taken to their city, displeased at how the federal government is handling the surge of undocumented parents and children.  

"We want people to be aware of the safety concerns that are not only for Border Patrol agents but for the community they are going to be coming into," said Gabe Pacheco, with the Border Patrol Union.

The Border Patrol Agents Union in San Diego report that some of the undocumented families are at risk for transmitting parasites or tuberculosis. However, University of San Diego Trans-Border Institute Director Ev Meade says their research on immigration issues proves there is no need for panic. He disagrees with Border Patrol Union members.

"Most of the fear and things about disease and criminality and about the border being let open to everybody - they just are not really true," Meade said.

CBS News 8 spoke with several residents in San Ysidro who said they welcomed the migrants.

"They should just let them stay here... I just know they're safer here where they're at," one resident said.

Once the undocumented immigrants are processed, Immigration Customs Enforcement will take custody, set up hearings and decide on a case-by-case basis whether each will face deportation or given a chance at asylum.

"Ninety percent do not return for immigration hearings," Pacheco said.

But Meade says ICE agents will hold the migrant families accountable.

"We need to calm down and have faith in our system and have faith in our values and not throw it out the window in a fit of hysteria," Meade said.

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