As thousands of people illegally cross the U.S.-Mexican border everyday, some U.S. citizens have become fed up. On Tuesday, July 1, Homeland Security officials were forced to reroute buses carrying migrant children and families to a processing center in San Diego. The mayor of Murrieta, Alan Long, had urged his city to complain to elected officials as illegal immigrants have begun to be relocated in California due to overcrowding along the border. Instead they chose to take action.
Protester Nancy Greyson told the Desert Sun newspaper, as reported by the Associated Press, “We can’t start taking care of others if we can’t take care of our own.” She was just one of the voices who gathered on Tuesday to let the government know that they do not feel that they are responsible to shoulder this recent burden.
Not everyone at the blockade was angry though. Juan Silva, a welder in Chula Vista, originally believed the buses to be filled with drug traffickers. But in fact many of the immigrants that were blocked had escaped from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as violence from gangs became unbearable.
Once he learned that they actually contained children and families, his tune quickly changed.
“I don’t think people in that town should be against little kids,” Silva said. “We’re not talking about rapists. We’re talking about human beings. How would they feel if it was their kids?”
Authorities were able to quickly reroute the buses to a nearby highway, which reached its destination only slightly behind schedule. Once they arrived, the migrants were processed and authorities determined who could be released while awaiting deportation. The U.S. has recently been overwhelmed with as many as 52,000 unaccompanied children. President Obama has gone as far as to label it a humanitarian crisis, as many of these individuals are seeking refuge.