Murrieta, California -- the city where pro-immigration enforcement protesters turned away a bus of recent illegal border crossers headed for processing and release – held a town hall meeting last night to hear from federal officials who targeted the city for placement. The overflow crowd, including the city’s mayor Alan Long, strongly objected to the federal gambit.
Chief Border Patrol Agent Paul Beeson told the crowd he was responsible for send the illegal aliens to Murrieta. "Send them back! Send them back!" the crowd responded. And the crowd groaned when he said four of those turned away on the bus latter were hospitalized for scabies or fevers.
Beeson said he did not know where the initial wave of illegal aliens or those slated to arrive from Texas in coming days will end up. "We will make decisions when they arrive where it makes the most sense to put them," he said.
Mayor Long, who opposed the illegal-alien transfer from the beginning, said his administration will monitor any spending related to the issue and send a "big fat bill" to Washington. "Change needs to occur at the federal level in many ways…It's a nationwide problem, and little ol' Murrieta has taken the lead."
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone urged the crowd to "(p)etition Obama to stop using these refugees to satisfy a political agenda." He said the federal government was exploiting traumatized women and children immigrants.
The raucous crowd was angry and resolute. "This is an invasion," one attendee said. "Why isn't the National Guard stopping them from coming in?" Another said, "Everybody that wants to come to this nation…should come the right way." One subsequently told the media "You bring in all these children and they're going to take over our schools. What's going to happen to the kids that were born and raised here?"
In a TV interview after the meeting, Mayor Long said, “What people need to understand is that [the protesters] are showing their emotion and passion about a federal policy that isn’t working…And if it started here in Murrieta, so be it. It won’t be just one mayor or councilmember or a group of small protesters, it’s going to take an entire region, maybe an entire state, to send a message to fix the problem so that this doesn't land on the community’s doorsteps.”
Updated: Thu, Jul 17th 2014 @ 1:25pm EDT