Lawmakers Weigh In On Migrant Transports To Southern California
As hundreds of Central American migrants who entered the U.S. illegally are being transported from overcrowded facilities in Texas to Southern California, some San Diego and state lawmakers are weighing in on the issue.
Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) greeted dozens of migrant families on Wednesday when they arrived at the El Centro Customs and Border Protection Station. He said it was a much different scene than in Murrieta, where protesters on Tuesday blocked busloads of women and children from entering the Border Patrol facility.
“Federal officers were allowed to do their jobs in a peaceful and appropriate manner, and I applaud them for their professionalism and compassion. I met and prayed with these young children and their families and assured them that the United States would treat them fairly and with dignity,” he said.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) reiterated on Tuesday his opposition to the transfer of the undocumented immigrants to San Diego and Riverside counties.
"Border states and regions, including our own, are already overwhelmed by the challenges associated with illegal immigration and asking communities to do even more will only accentuate the problems that already exist," Hunter said in a statement.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) took to social media to express her dismay over how the migrants were treated.
“How people wave American flags in protest to immigrant women & children who just desperately want to make this their country, makes no sense,'' Gonzalez said via Twitter.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) along with 34 other members of Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for an end to the unilateral executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and to make an explicit public commitment that newly arrived undocumented immigrants will not receive legal status.
“As our country faces an unprecedented surge in the arrival of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) at our southwestern border, we call on you to immediately end the failed policies that encourage young individuals to put themselves in peril, leave their home countries, and make a long and dangerous journey to enter our country illegally,” Issa stated.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said the protests in Murrieta raise safety concerns for the migrants and the federal Department of Homeland Security agents.
"If the Republican House had just taken up and passed the bipartisan Senate immigration bill, the angry and unfortunate demonstration in Murrieta would not have occurred. That is because the Senate bill greatly enhances border protection while setting up clear and fair rules for immigrants," Boxer said.
More migrants are expected to arrive to the region on Friday.