2nd group of undocumented immigrants arrives in San Diego

SAN DIEGO - A plane carrying undocumented immigrants has landed at Lindbergh Field -- the second flight from Texas to arrive at San Diego's airport this week.

The group -- believed to be made up of more than 100 people, including young children -- boarded three buses before exiting the airport grounds.

Just before 9 p.m., a 10News crew was there as the buses entered a Border Patrol facility in San Ysidro.

The first flight from Texas with 140 immigrants, many of them unaccompanied children, arrived Tuesday. The immigrants were then transported to the Border Patrol facility in Murrieta. However, the buses were blocked by protesters and forced to head back down to a facility in San Ysidro.

Ron Zermeno, a Border Patrol union official, told 10News Wednesday that 40 of those immigrants were quarantined at the Border Patrol Chula Vista Station with active scabies and head lice. The rest were processed through other BP facilities and released.

On Friday, Zermeno added that one of the BP agents processing the immigrants is now infected with scabies.

"This is what I feared, and this is what I did not want to see," Zermeno said.

Zermeno said the infected immigrants should have been stopped during medical checks in Texas, but were not because the agents there were overwhelmed.

"That agent processed numerous detainees that were allegedly medically cleared by FEMA," he told 10News.

Zermeno said there was already a national safety concern as agents were pulled from the line to process the immigrants.

"Now these people are already on the streets, are traveling through the country to get to their final destination. And they could be contaminating buses, contaminating other people with scabies," Zermeno said.

Meanwhile, the number of protesters outside the Murrieta BP station continued to grow throughout the morning Friday, as tempers flared between them. One man was even handcuffed and searched by police. It was not confirmed if the immigrants be flown in today would in fact be bussed to Murrieta.

Thousands of children and families have arrived on the Texas border in recent months fleeing violence, murders and extortion from criminal gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained.
 
The crunch on the border in Texas' Rio Grande Valley prompted U.S. authorities to fly immigrant families to other Texas cities and to Southern California for processing.
 
The Border Patrol is coping with excess capacity across the Southwest, and cities' responses to the arriving immigrants have ranged from welcoming to indifferent. In the border town of El Centro, California, a flight arrived Wednesday without protest.

President Obama Monday called the spike in immigrants crossing into the U.S. through Texas a "humanitarian crisis." On Monday, he asked for more than $2 billion to help with the situation. The president said he will go around Congress and shift resources to the border by the end of summer.

After being processed, the immigrants are being turned over to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Those planning on staying with family members or friends across the country are being taken to bus terminals or airports -- but will be required to report to the nearest ICE facility for case management.

Zermeno said the immigrants will continue to be distributed among San Diego Sector Border Patrol facilities, which could include El Cajon, El Centro, Chula Vista, Campo, Boulevard or San Clemente.

After being screened by the Department of Human Services, the immigrants might be released with instructions to report to an ICE office within 15 days. Some could be allowed to stay under the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. According to ICE, ATD is a “flight-mitigation tool that uses technology and case management to increase compliance with release conditions and facilitate alien compliance with court hearings and final orders of removal while allowing aliens to remain in their community.”

Murrieta Mayor Alan Long became a hero to those seeking stronger immigration policies with his criticism of the federal government's efforts to handle the thousands of immigrants, many of them mothers and children, who have flooded the Texas border.
 
However, a message subsequently posted on the Murrieta city website by City Manager Rick Dudley said that Mayor Alan Long was only asserting that the local Border Patrol station was not an appropriate location for that purpose and was encouraging the community to contact its federal representatives.
 
The statement, suggesting that protesters had come from elsewhere in Southern California, expressed regret that the busloads of women and children had been forced to turn around.
 
"This was not victory," Dudley wrote. "It was a loss for the city of Murrieta, for the community that we live in and love. It made this extremely compassionate community look heartless and uncaring. That is NOT the Murrieta that we all know and love."

Some local leaders said the outrage among some area residents is justified, given the already stressed social services infrastructure and the stagnant regional economy. Murrieta has a population of about 106,000.
 
"It's not the 140 we're concerned about," Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone said of the number of people on the three buses turned away by Murrieta protesters. "It's the thousands more that will follow that will strain our resources and take away the resources we need to care for our own citizens."
 
Elsewhere in the Southwest, hundreds of children are being dropped off daily at a large Border Patrol warehouse in Nogales, Arizona. Residents there have donated clothing and other items and the city's mayor, Arturo Garino, has said he welcomes the children and wants to assist them in any way he can.
 
In New Mexico, one of a few states that grants driver's licenses to immigrants who entered the country illegally, residents have been less enthusiastic about taking on the burden.
 
At a town hall meeting this week, Artesia, NM, residents spoke out against a detention center that recently started housing immigrants there. The facility holds women and children migrants while immigration officials work on deporting them. It can house up to 700 people.
 
Residents told authorities they were afraid the immigrants would take jobs and resources from U.S. citizens.

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