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San Diego Immigrant Rights Groups Rally In Support Of Migrant Families

Dozens of activists gathered near downtown San Diego on Wednesday morning to show their support for migrant families from Central America who had been transported to the region.

Dozens of activists gathered near downtown San Diego on Wednesday morning to show their support for migrant families from Central America who had been transported to the region.

"These children are our children," said Enrique Morones, executive director of the immigrant rights group, Border Angels. "Let’s show the world that we know how to love our children."

Nearly 140 women and children who entered the U.S. illegally arrived to San Diego on Tuesday by plane from overcrowded facilities in Texas. Immigration officials then took them by chartered buses to Murrieta but the vehicles were blocked and turned away by protesters.

"We saw the worst of the American spirit," Morones said of the Murrieta protest.

Border Angels is leading an effort to collect food, clothes, toys and other items to give to the newly arrived refugees. Morones said his group is planning to help in every way they can. He urged the community to do the same.

Photo by Susan Murphy

Dozens of people, including a group of 18 students from Maac Community Charter School in Chula Vista, came to Border Angels headquarters near downtown San Diego to show their support for the migrant families from Central America, July 2, 2014.

"We're working with other agencies and providing legal assistance for free, housing and food for free, helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they need to pick up some family, or drop off at a bus station."

Tommy Ramirez, dean of students for the Maac Community Charter School in Chula Vista brought 20 students to the rally to help them get involved in the humanitarian effort.

"We were very saddened yesterday to see what happened with those children," Ramirez said. "We talked about it with our students and there are many of them that wanted to come and support."

Marabel Solache from San Marcos is part of the advocate group, North County Immigration Task Force. She came to the rally with her two children to offer a different message than the protesters in Murrieta.

"How do you think they were thinking inside of the bus? They don’t feel welcome. And that’s why I was so emotional is because I can’t imagine," Saloche said.

Escondido resident Ronald Kohl, with the advocate group La Jolla Quakers, said he's mortified by what happened in Murrieta.

"I believe we can present a better image," Kohl said. "I think we can treat people better."

Morones said donations can be brought to the Border Angels office located at 2258 Island Avenue, San Diego 92101.

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