Advocates Gather in San Bernardino to Support Migrants

Immigration advocates met in San Bernardino to reach out to migrants bused into the Inland Empire community

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Immigrant activists are preparing to welcome migrant mothers and children with open arms and the resources to help them in a new country. Lolita Lopez reports from San Bernardino for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014)

    Immigration advocates raced to help scores of immigrants arriving in Southern California on Wednesday, amid intense media coverage and a crush of protesters who swarmed their buses.

    The groups said they were planning to hand out flyers to migrants with information about how to get legal representation, details about the immigration process and their rights in this country.

    Protesters Block Buses Carrying Immigrants

    [LA] Protesters Block Buses Carrying Immigrants
    Buses filled with undocumented immigrants were forced to turn away from a border patrol station in Murrieta amid angry protestors and depart for a different station in San Ysidro. Lolita Lopez reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from San Ysidro Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014)

    Migrant families, mostly women and children, from Central and South America were expected to be processed on Tuesday at the Border Patrol Station in Murrieta, a community about 81 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

    Preparations Underway for 140 More Migrants

    [LA] Preparations Underway for 140 More Migrants
    Community groups were helping migrants navigate their first days in the United States after a day when protesters picketed their arrival to the Southern California community of Murrieta. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014)

    But protesters waving American flags and shouting "Go back to Mexico" blocked the road where the buses were traveling. The protests forced the buses to return to the border station in San Ysidro.

    It was unknown whether the buses would return, but advocates were hoping to avoid a repeat of Tuesday's demonstrations.

    Once they're processed, the migrants will be required to check in every week with customs officials at the Homeland Security offices in San Bernardino. If they don't check in, they face immediate deportation.

    Advocates said that the undocumented immigrants will be monitored and given court dates.

    After being processed into the country, a process that can take up to 72 hours, they are expected to be released to loved ones or move on to their final destination anywhere in the country, at their own cost.

    Dunia Cruz and her 16-month-old son, William, made the journey to live with family members in San Bernardino in May, fleeing violence in her home country of Honduras.

    She was in Texas for four days and she now has a chance to be processed in California, she said through a translator.

    Another 140 migrants are expected to arrive in Murrieta on Friday, according to Emilio Amaya, of the San Bernardino Community Service Center.

    Murrieta city officials, meanwhile, have been receiving phone calls, emails and other correspondence from across the country about the issue.

    "Some of them not very nice, some of them threats," said Kim Summers, Murrieta's assistant city manager. "One of our secretaries picked up the phone and had an angry person saying they were going to kill her and her family."

    The move to process migrants was designed to ease overcrowding at border facilities strained by an influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border.

    More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained after crossing the Texas-Mexico border since October in what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis. Many of the migrants are under the impression that they will receive leniency from U.S. authorities.

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