By: Arlen Williams
Follow-up from Susan’s story, “Government Directed Illegal Immigration Invasion Hits California: Murietta“
Murrieta, California held a town hall meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. I personally attended this meeting to see firsthand what was happening. I wasn’t sure what to expect nor was I sure how many people would be interested enough to attend.
I arrived about 45 minutes before the scheduled meeting. The Murrieta Mesa High School parking lot, where the event was being held, quickly filled to capacity.
As far as the eye could see, news trucks from Los Angeles, San Diego, and their Hispanic news channels from Los Angeles and San Diego were on scene. Inside the auditorium, media lined both sides of the front of the auditorium. It was standing room only for them.
Numerous police officers were stationed both inside and outside of the crowded auditorium. Some were City of Murrieta police officers while others were clearly Federal agents wearing bullet proof vests.
In addition, several officers with K-9 units, stood ready to disburse the crowd should the need arise.
All of the police officers and federal agents conducted themselves professionally and at no time tried to intimate anyone at the meeting. Only once did a police officer respectfully ask a man in the crowd to refrain from shouting out so that the meeting could continue uninterrupted. Those in attendance were assured that there would be a question and answer period at the end of the meeting. The man was able to ask his question during this segment of the program.
Many officials were present. Most notably the Mayor of Murrieta, John Long, was in attendance. He was given a round of applause for his stance against the illegal immigrants coming to Murrieta. Long announced to the capacity crowd of 700 plus attendees that “Change needs to occur at the Federal level in many, many ways.”
Long reminded those in the media, both locally and nationally, who had accused him of being a racist because of his stance on not wanting the illegal immigrants to be processed in Murrieta, that he was “half Hispanic.”
Long told the crowd, “My mother is Hispanic. So that makes me half Hispanic.” Long also reminded everyone that he is married to a Hispanic woman. He then praised his Hispanic father-in-law seated in the crowd, for the accomplishments he has made in this country.
Long stated, “I am not against immigrants coming to America in the rightful way.” He then thanked the police chief and his department regarding how professionally they had handled the situation at the Border Patrol station in Murrieta when the citizens demanded that the buses carrying illegal immigrants be turned around.
Long further stated that if illegal immigrants were sent to Murrieta and the city had to use its own funding that he would be seeking reimbursement from the federal government. However, Long said, “I have no faith it will be paid.” Long closed by saying, “It’s my goal to keep all in Murrieta safe and you can’t put a price on that.”
Murrieta Council Member, Rick Gibbs, also received applause from the crowd on several occasions during his speech. Gibbs reviewed the timeline regarding when he first learned about Border Patrol’s decision to bring illegal immigrants to Murrieta.
Gibbs described several meetings in which by chance he gained information about the plans to bring the illegal immigrants to his city.
Also, Gibbs said, “Murrieta is a melting pot just like all of California.” He further stated that “Twenty seven percent of the population in Murrieta is Hispanic,” indicating that his opposition to bringing illegal immigrants to Murrieta had nothing to do with the people themselves.
Gibbs explained that his opposition to bringing the illegal immigrants to Murrieta was about the conditions that they would be exposed to at the Murrieta Border Patrol location. Gibbs painted a bleak picture of small concrete cells, with blankets in the corner, no privacy and one toilet per cell. Gibbs said, “This facility is lacking and looks like a jail.” “You don’t put moms and children in jail.” Gibbs added, “You must treat people in a dignified, humane way.” The crowd erupted in applause and sprang to their feet at this pronouncement.
Stone blamed the Obama administration when he said “Obama’s lack of political will to protect the borders is to blame” for the issues. Stone reiterated that, “It is a federal responsibility to protect our borders.”
Stone urged the citizens that were present, to contact their congressional representatives and petition them. Stone said citizens should, “Ask the President and Congress to stop using women and children from other countries to satisfy a political agenda.” He further added that current Immigration Laws needed to be enforced.
Stone also said, “Obama and Congress should work to immediately secure our borders.” In closing, he said, “Obama and Congress must protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and they have an obligation to protect and defend our inalienable rights.”
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, a Public Health and Safety Officer spoke about the risk of disease to those exposed to the illegal immigrants. Dr. Kaiser couldn’t give specifics about the number of diseases that have been detected because he indicated that “The detainees are in Federal custody,” so he can’t be sure of the full risk. FEMA would not have allowed Dr. Kaiser to examine the illegal immigrants, if they had been successfully processed at the Murrieta’s Border Patrol facility, according to Kaiser.
Kaiser, however, said, “Many of the people that turned around on the buses had to be taken to hospitals in San Ysidro.” Later on in the meeting, Paul Beeson, Chief Patrol Agent for San Diego and 29 year veteran, indicated that only 4 children had been taken to the hospital, 2 suffering from fever and 2 with scabies.
It was clear that Chief Beeson refrained from making any comments about policy issues so that he would not risk disciplinary actions from the Obama administration.
Beeson, did however, reveal some startling statistics to the attentive audience. He indicated that the Border Patrol has made 201,000 arrests since October 2013 (beginning of the fiscal year) which amounts to approximately 1,200 arrests per day. Beeson stated that 77 percent of those arrested come from countries other than Mexico.
He reported that the Border Patrol has been processing approximately 154,000 people from countries other than Mexico (Illegal Immigrants from Central America) and that the process can take anywhere from “45 minutes to 3 hours to complete.”
Beeson received jeers from the crowd when he reported that, “Every individual before being brought here (referring to Murrieta) is medically cleared by government agencies.” He added that, “If there are any health issues then they are not put on a plane.” The crowd questioned this since he discussed earlier that at least 4 of those turned away from Murrieta on the buses had obviously been put on a plane ill since they were taken to a hospital in San Ysidro. Beeson gave no response.
ICE Field Operations Director for Los Angeles, David Jennings, divulged new information that those present had not previously heard. Specifically, Jennings stated, “ICE has no capacity to detain family units.” He cited New Mexico as having the only facility to house these individuals. It was what he said next that seemed to raise the eyebrows of some in attendance.
Jennings stated that, “ICE is currently trying to get 10,000 units so that families can be housed.” He further stated that, “So we have to release families because we have no place to house them.” He reiterated that, “ICE wants to find out where they (illegal immigrants) were going and help them get there in the most humane way.”
Jennings stated that “ICE is really good at finding and removing them from the US but not good at housing them.” Jennings explained, “So that is why we are reaching out to the community.” “We want to ask the community to help get the people where they are going,” Jennings said.
All in all, members of the City Council seemed open to voicing their displeasure with the Obama Administration’s lack of responsibility toward the citizens of Murrieta and to the United States, in general, for not closing the border, for not enforcing existing Immigration Laws, and for not upholding the Constitution of the United States.
The police, federal agent, and border patrol representatives, as expected, seemed hesitant to speak out publicly about the Obama Administration.
The night ended when those in the audience were given a chance to ask questions of the assembled panel. Most questions were as you might expect, focused on the immediate future for Murrieta and whether the buses would be returning. For the most part, the panel had no clear cut answers.
Upon leaving the meeting, those in favor of bringing the illegal immigrants to Murrieta, about 75 to 100 people, gathered in a circle, held signs, and chanted at times outside of the auditorium. The protesters were closely watched by the police and federal agents.
Many citizens of Murrieta following the City Hall meeting remained strong in their beliefs that illegal immigrants should not be processed in their city. They agree that President Obama needs to act now to stop the influx of illegal immigrants into their city and their country. Only time will tell if other cities will follow Murrieta’s lead and defend themselves against this political agenda.
Susan can be reached by email at [email protected].
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