Murrieta Mayor on Border Crisis: "We Tried to Help" - NBC 7 San Diego

Murrieta Mayor on Border Crisis: "We Tried to Help"

“Contrary to what you saw on the video, Murrieta tried to step in and help..." Murrieta mayor tells NBC News



    Murrieta Mayor Alan Long spoke to NBC News about the protest in his city that rerouted undocumented immigrants from Texas. (Published Friday, July 11, 2014)

    No more Central American immigrants will be transferred from Texas to San Diego, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. But officials say those who protested the controversial plan shouldn't cry victory. 

    CBP officials announced Friday that its officers have reduced the backlog of undocumented immigrants in southern Texas and can now process the remaining undocumented immigrants there.

    Approximately 400 women and children were moved to Southern California this month to help with what’s been described by the Obama administration as a humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied minors in federal custody along the U.S. - Mexico border.

    Three chartered planes brought the immigrants to Lindbergh Field. The original plans to bus them to the CBP Murrieta station for processing were thwarted when an angry crowd blocked the buses and forced agents to send the women and children to facilities in San Diego County.

    RAW: Angry Protests Greet Bus of Immigrants

    [DGO]RAW: Angry Protests Greet Bus of Immigrants
    Video shows the scene outside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Murrieta on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.
    (Published Wednesday, July 2, 2014)

    The protests in Murrieta had nothing to do with the decision, officials said.

    Before the first flight arrived, Murrieta Mayor Alan Long criticized the plan and sided with those protesting the arrival of the immigrants to his city.

    "The true solution to this would be a collaborative effort of a region standing up and sending a message to Washington, D.C. to put a stop to it so we stop having to manage their headache,” Long announced at a June 30 press conference.

    A few days later, the mayor said the city's residents were feeling "dumped on."

    On Friday, in an interview with NBC News, Long called for compassion.

    He said he toured the Murrieta CBP facility and found it lacking in services to help those arriving in his city.

    “These were jail cells,” said Long. “These poor children were transported all over sick. They were ill.”

    He said his city offered to help the federal government by offering mobile healthcare.

    “Contrary to what you saw on the video, Murrieta tried to step in and help make sure they were processed efficiently and given proper healthcare,” the mayor said.

    While criticizing federal agents for “sending sick people all over the nation,” he also claimed both sides of the immigration debate want the same thing.

    “We have to have laws that are efficient, but we have to show people compassion as well,” Long said.

    San Diego immigration activist Enrique Morones called for an investigation into how Murrieta police handled the July 1 protest that turned immigrants away from the processing facility.