Protests Continue as More Migrants Transferred

As more migrants are transferred to California, protesters on both sides continue to turn out near suburban processing facility

An additional transfer of about 100 undocumented migrants from border detention facilities to California brought another round of protests Monday, as well as concern from local officials over the cost to local cities.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol had originally said buses of undocumented immigrants could be transported to the Murrieta processing facility in Riverside County every third day beginning July 1.

But those plans were thwarted by a small group of protesters that blocked the buses' arrival last week.

Near the site of that confrontation, residents continued to turn out to protest the potential arrival of any new transfers Monday. By late afternoon, all the transfers appeared to have been taken to other Southern California facilities, but that did not deter the protesters.

"This is our town and we want to take it back,” Sheila Shaw said outside of the U.S. Customs and Border station. A long-time Murrieta resident, Shaw said she doesn’t want hundreds of undocuments immigrants processed in her city, and then released.

She’s one of many who are concerned about where the migrants will live before their cases can be heard by an immigration court judge - a process that can take years.

The chartered planes full of undocumented immigrants landed in San Diego as part of the ongoing transfer of families and children from Texas and New Mexico to California. Mostly women and children, officials say the plan is to process them at local facilities and reunite them with family members and social service organizations.

The undocumented families and children were flown to San Diego for processing as part of the federal government's plan to address the nation’s border crisis - a plan that has divided Southern California residents.

"And it's a very very sad thing that's going on," Shaw said.

Supporters of the migrants, many of whom say they have fled dangerous conditions in Mexico and in Central America, argue that residents have taken their opposition overboard.

"There's no reason they should be throwing themselves at busses full of scared children," said Cassandra Rules, a resident of nearby Redlands. “We should never turn away children. We should protect all children. And it's a sad world when giving a child food education and shelter is frowned upon."

The demonstrations, though, are also costing tax dollars. Police officials say 11 officers each day are now providing crowd control outside the border patrol building rather than patrolling the city’s streets.

Some officers are working up to 18 hours a day, costing the city tens of thousands of dollars in overtime.

City leaders are keeping a running tally on how much the police protection is costing Murrieta taxpayers in hopes of getting reimbursed by the federal government.

The next round of transfers is expected to arrive in California Thursday.

While officials have declined to state where the transfers are being taken - citing security risks - it is believed that many have been taken to the Chula Vista facility in San Ysidro, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

NBC7 San Diego reporters R.Stickney and Megan Tevrizian contributed to this report.

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