Donations pour in amid immigration controversy

SAN DIEGO - While the controversy continues to brew over the influx of undocumented immigrants in to San Diego, those who want to help the families are stepping up with donations.

Items like clothes and diapers are pouring in to the Sherman Heights Community Center in the 2200 block of Island Avenue in San Diego. Offers for transportation and housing are coming in as well and one person even stopped by with a $10,000 check.

A group called Border Angels is there collecting the donations and fielding the offers coming in.

In a news release, Border Angels founder Enrique Morones stated "President Obama stated that this is a humanitarian crisis and it is. What we need is humanitarian solutions. Sending the children back to sure death is not humanitarian."

"This issue could be our Rosa Parks moment on immigration reform," Morones added in the statement.

Maria Rios brought diapers, baby wipes, stuffed animals and jackets. Alan Guerra brought cases of Gatorade and other supplies. Both said they were moved to make the donations after seeing images on television of protesters surrounding buses loaded with immigrant children in Murrieta.

"Very sad to see that," said Rios. "They're children. They're not criminals. They need help. I would do anything for my children, anything."

Guerra was also disturbed by those images, so much so that he asked friends and family on Facebook to join him in giving the immigrant children a helping hand.

Rios and Guerra were among the dozens of San Diegans who stopped by the Border Angels office in Sherman Heights to donate food, diapers and other supplies. By the end of the day, an entire office was stacked high with goods to help the immigrants get started.

"We cannot allow this to continue, because these are our children," said Morones. "Before we were us, we were them, and it's unbelievable that this is taking place, and I assure you, I assure you if these were Canadian children we would not be standing here today."

Morones and several other human rights advocates told reporters the children from South America and Mexico should be greeted with open arms. He called Tuesday's protest "shameful." 

"We saw the worst of the American spirit," Morones said.

Border Angels issued a list of items needed for the children, including baby formula, blankets, diapers, tooth brushes and clothing items.

Border Angels is located at 2258 Island Ave. in San Diego.

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