Murrieta immigrant detainee protests: 5 arrested, still no arrivals

Five people were arrested Friday during protests in Murrieta over immigrant detainees being housed here, though so far it appears no detainees have been sent to this Inland Empire city.

A charter plane carrying immigrants who entered the country illegally arrived at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field on Friday evening. Three U.S. Homeland Security Department buses arrived a few minutes later, trailed by numerous law enforcement vehicles.

Federal officials had said earlier in the week that 140 immigrants detained while crossing the border into Texas would arrive Friday. But since a blockade by protesters forced three busloads of migrants to turn around Tuesday in Murrieta, officials have declined to provide information about the movement of the immigrants.

According to a law enforcement source, the latest group to arrive in California was taken to a Border Patrol facility in San Ysidro for processing.

KNSD-TV in San Diego posted video of the detainees — some of whom appeared to be mothers with babies and toddlers — exiting the flight Friday night.

Hundreds of people gathered on the road to the Murrieta processing center, anticipating another convoy of vehicles containing immigrants.

The number of protesters swelled Friday despite the summer heat, the Fourth of July holiday and a police strategy that mostly kept the groups apart and away from the processing center.

In a reversal from earlier in the week, there were substantially more demonstrators on the immigration-rights side.

Authorities kept the road to the center clear and the protesters in check, although scuffles did break out. Murrieta police arrested five people for obstructing officers during an afternoon altercation. One other person was arrested earlier in the day.

The group protesting the transfer of the immigrants to California waved American flags and chanted “U.S.A,” while across the street demonstrators responded with, “Shame on you!”

Twitter: @mtthnsn @James_Barragan

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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