One year since immigrant showdown in Murrieta - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

One year since immigrant showdown in Murrieta

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It has been one year since a huge showdown in Murrieta, turning it into ground zero in the immigration debate.

Residents took a stand, blocking buses transporting dozens of undocumented immigrants. Depending on who you ask, what took place in Murrieta was either illegal or inhumane.

Last year, protesters blocked 3 buses full of about 140 undocumented children and their parents. They were being taken to the Murrieta Border Patrol Office to be processed, but after about 30 minutes, they turned around and left.

"I'll never forget last year. It was really an epic moment in this immigration situation," says Enrique Morones.

Enrique was there that day and he remembers it vividly. He runs the organization Border Angels and says that day his heart felt for those on-board the buses.

"They are children that are simply escaping a very violent situation in their homeland, part of it due to the policies of the U.S. and I couldn't believe it," says Enrique.

CBS News 8 followed up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to find out what happened to the people on those buses. ICE officials say they were brought back to San Diego, processed, and were sent to stay with friends and sponsors in other cities. None of them stayed in San Diego, but the story sparked a huge outpouring of support.

"We received tons of donations from San Diego and Tijuana. We are still receiving donations today," says Enrique.

Enrique says he expects those donations to continue to come in as long as the immigration debate continues to produce scenes like what took place in Murrieta.

ICE officials say the processing of undocumented workers is still backed up today but not nearly as bad as it was last year.

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